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Different effects of ferulic acid and tetramethylpyrazine on the production of superoxide anion and nitric oxide in murine macrophages

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The effects of ferulic acid and tetramethylpyrazine, two active ingredients of the Chinese herbal medicine Ligusticum wallichii Franchat, on the generation of superoxide anion and nitric oxide in macrophages were studied. Ferulic acid, but not tetramethylpyrazine, scavenges superoxide anion dose-dependently. Tetramethylpyrazine inhibits the expression of the iNOS gene, and consequently decreases the formation of nitric oxide. However, ferulic acid shows no effect on iNOS expression and NO production. The results suggest that the protective effects of extracts of Ligusticum wallichi Franchat against ischemic injury might be due to the scavenging of superoxide anion and the regulation of NO production.


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