Microwave-assisted extraction of total saponins from Physalis alkekengi L. var. franchetii (Mast.) Makino and their in vitro anti-inflammatory activity

  • Wenjie Gao
  • Feng Chen
  • Hongquan Li
  • Xiaowen Wang
  • Qingran MengEmail author
Original Paper


In this study, the optimization of microwave-assisted extraction of total saponins from P. alkekengi (TSP) and in vitro anti-inflammatory activity were discussed. According to the results in Box–Behnken design, the nonlinear regression model obtained from the Design-Expert software was a reasonable fit for the experiment data (R2 = 0.9994). Results showed that the optimal extraction conditions with a yield of 6.41 ± 0.25 mg/g for crude TSP extraction were aqueous ethanol (80%) to raw material ratios of 32:1 (mL:g), extraction power of 300 W, and extraction time of 29 min. The content of the total saponins in the purified extract was 91.32 ± 1.57%. Bioassay indicated that TSP could significantly inhibited the release of nitric oxide (NO), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in a dose-dependent manner, and down-regulated the expressions of related genes. In addition, TSP treatment could also suppress the elevated cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) gene expression in LPS-induced RAW 264.7. Moreover, the secretions of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in stimulated macrophages were also restrained in a concentration-dependent way. All these results indicated that TSP exhibited anti-inflammatory effects by suppressing the transcription of some inflammatory cytokine genes, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory properties of TSP may be helpful to mitigate inflammatory diseases as well as some other related diseases. The overall results indicated that TSP had potential as anti-inflammatory lead compounds for follow-up research.


Physalis alkekengi L. var. franchetii Saponins Extraction optimization Anti-inflammatory activity 



This study was supported by the grants from the Shanxi Science and Technology Department (Grant Nos. 2015081024, 20150311020-2) and the China Scholarship Council (Grant No. 201706790044).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Perfume and Aroma TechnologyShanghai Institute of TechnologyShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Landscape ArchitectureNortheast Forestry UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Food Science and EngineeringShanxi Agricultural UniversityTaiguPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Food Nutrition and Packaging SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  5. 5.College of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineShanxi Agricultural UniversityTaiguPeople’s Republic of China

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