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Inflammatory diseases are characterised by a continuous recruitment of white blood cells (leucocytes) to site of injuries, infections or antigen depositions. It is now well established that the key step in the recruitment of white blood cells at  inflammatory sites is the adhesive interaction of white blood cells with the vascular endothelium (endothelial cells) and/or  extracellular matrix proteins. A number of  potent inflammatory disease mediators including cytokines (e.g. TNF, IL-1 and IL-6) and prostaglandins have also been shown to up-regulate the expression of various endothelial and white blood cell surface adhesive molecules leading to cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions and white blood cell immigration to inflammatory sites.

During the past sixteen years, we have developed and optimised a number of in vitro cell and protein-based assays that measure the potential antiinflammatory activity of herbal-products against the above mentioned novel inflammatory targets. Some of these established assays are listed below:

Endotoxin binding/detoxification tests

    Cytokines production and release assays

        COX-products release assay

            Cell-cell adhesion (e.g. leucocyte-endothelial adhesions)

                Cell-matrix interactions (e.g. leucocytes-protein adhesions)

                    Adhesion molecules expression and/or activation assays

                                Various experimental models of inflammation

Our review articles describe the various approaches in antiinflammatory activity studies of natural products: HABTEMARIAM, S. (2010). Applying new science for old medicines: targeting leukocyte-endothelial adhesions by antiiflammatory herbal drugs. Natural Product Communications 5(8), 1329-1336. Review article - Abstract

HABTEMARIAM S. (2013). Targeting the production of monocytes/macrophages-derived cytokines by anti-inflammatory herbal drugs. Phytopharmacology 4(1), 131-148. Review article. Free Full Text Article

For any further information on the subject or  collaborative and/or consultancy work please  contact the site owner.  Our key publications below can also be used for quick references on this area of interest:

  • HABTEMARIAM, S., Belai, A. (2017) Natural Therapies of the inflammatory bowel disease: The case of rutin and its aglycone, quercetin. Mini Review in Medicinal Chemistry. In Press. Abstract

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (2017). Going back to the good old days: The merit of crude plant drug mixtures in the 21st century. International Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine 6(2), 2017, 1-5. Full Text

  • Kumatia, E.K., Annan, K., Dickson, R.A.,  Mensah, A.Y., Amponsah, I.K.,  Appiah, A.A.,  Tung, N.H.,  Edoh, D.A., HABTEMARIAM, S.* (2017). Antiinflammatory and analgesic effects in rodent models of ethanol extract of Clausena anisata roots and their chemical constituents. Natural Product Communications 12(1), 67-72.

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (2016). Berberine and inflammatory bowel disease: A concise review. Pharmacological Research 113(Part A), 592-599. Abstract

  • Armah, F.A., Annan, K, Mensah, A.Y.,   Amponsah, I.K., Tocher, D.A., HABTEMARIAM, S.* (2015). Erythroivorensin A: a novel antiifnlammatory diterpene from the root-bark of Erythrophleum ivorense (A Chev.). Fitoterapia 105, 37-42. Abstract

  • Mireku, E.A., Mensah, A.Y., Mensah, M.L.K., Tocher, D.A., HABTEMARIAM, S.*. (2014). Anti-inflammatory properties of the stem-bark of Anopyxis kalineana and its major constituent, methyl angolensate. Phytotherapy Research 28(12),  18551860. Abstract

  • Tsala, D.E., HABTEMARIAM S., Simplice, F.H.,   Thiery B.N.M., Abraham, J.A., Theophile, D. (2014).  Topically applied Tetrapleura tetraptera stem bark extract promotes healing of excision and incision wounds in rats. Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology 3(2), 6367

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (2010). Applying new science for old medicines: targeting leukocyte-endothelial adhesions by antiiflammatory herbal drugs. Natural Product Communications 5(8), 1329-1336. Review article - Abstract

  • Hevesi  B.T.,  Houghton P.J.,  HABTEMARIAM,  S.,  Kéry Á. (2009). Antioxidant and antiinflammatory effect of Epilobium parviflorum Schreb. Phytother. Res. 23(5), 719-724. Abstract

  • Motlhanka, D.M.T. and  HABTEMARIAM, S.  (2007). Prostaglandin E-2 (PGE-2) inhibition by crude extracts of medicinal plants of Botswana.  Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine 11, 32-33. Abstract

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (2002). Hamamelitannin from Hamamelis virginiana inhibits the tumour necrosis factor-a (TNF)-induced endothelial cell death in vitro. Toxicon 40, 83-88.

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (2001). Antiinflammatory activity of the antirheumatic herbal drug, gravel root (Eupatorium purpureum): further biological activities and constituents. Phytotherapy Res. 15, 697-690.

  •  HABTEMARIAM, S. (2000). Natural inhibitors of  tumour necrosis factor-a production, secretion and function. Review article. Planta Med. 66, 303-313.

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (1998). Cistifolin, an integrin-dependent cell adhesion blocker from the anti-rheumatic herbal drug, gravel root (rhyzome of Eupatorium purpureum). Planta Med. 683-685.

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (1998). Extract of gravel root (rhizome of Eupatorium purpureum) inhibits integrins-dependent U937 cell adhesion. Phytotherapy Res. 12, 422-426.

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (1998). Andrographolide inhibits the tumour necrosis factor-a induced upregulation of ICAM-1 expression and endothelial-monocyte adhesion. Phytotherapy Res. 12, 37-40.

  •  Habtemariam, S. (1998). Extract of corn silk (stigma of Zea mays) inhibits the TNF and Bacterial Lipopolysacharide-induced cell adhesion and ICAM-1 expression. Planta Med. 64, 314-318.

  • HABTEMARIAM, S. (1997). Flavonoids as inhibitors or enhancers of the cytotoxicity of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in L-929 tumor cells. J. Nat Prod. 60, 775-778.Modulation of tumour necrosis factor-a-induced cytotoxicity  by polyphenols

  • Habtemariam, S. (1997).  Modulation of tumour necrosis factor-a-induced cytotoxicity  by polyphenols. Phytother. Res. 11, 277-80.

  • Habtemariam S. (1997). Cytotoxicity and immunosuppressive activity of withanolides from Discopodium penninervium. Planta Med., 63, 15-17.

Please also visit our publication page for more references.


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The Site Owner

Dr Habtemariam BSc, MSc, PhD........FRSM, FRSC. .... With a Principal Lecturer post at Greenwich, Dr Habtemariam is a leader of the BSc Pharmaceutical Science programme and researches on bioassay & natural products-based drug development. ....More



In addition to our fully equipped tissue culture facilities, we have  access to various state-of-the-art equipment including ICP-MS, LC-MS, MALDI-TOF-MS, FABS-MS, FTIR, Laser-Raman,  scanning  and transmission  electron microscopes, flow cytometer, NMR (270, 300 and 500MHz),  automated DNA sequencers, various HPLC systems,  capillary electrophersis and ABI PRCmate DNA synthetisers.










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