Wild Bitter Melon Leaf Extract Inhibits Porphyromonas gingivalis-Induced Inflammation: Identification of Active Compounds through Bioassay-Guided Isolation

Tzung Hsun Tsai, Wen Cheng Huang, How Ting Ying, Yueh Hsiung Kuo, Chien Chang Shen, Yin Ku Lin, Po Jung Tsai

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Porphyromonas gingivalis has been identified as one of the major periodontal pathogens. Activity-directed fractionation and purification processes were employed to identify the anti-inflammatory active compounds using heat-killed P. gingivalis-stimulated human monocytic THP-1 cells in vitro. Five major fractions were collected from the ethanol/ethyl acetate extract of wild bitter melon (Momordica charantia Linn. var. abbreviata Ser.) leaves and evaluated for their anti-inflammatory activity against P. gingivalis. Among the test fractions, Fraction 5 effectively decreased heat-killed P. gingivalis-induced interleukin (IL)-8 and was subjected to separation and purification by using chromatographic techniques. Two cucurbitane triterpenoids were isolated from the active fraction and identified as 5β,19-epoxycucurbita-6,23-diene-3β,19,25-triol (1) and 3β,7β,25-trihydroxycucurbita-5,23-dien-19-al (2) by comparing spectral data. Treatments of both compounds in vitro potently suppressed P. gingivalis-induced IL-8, IL-6, and IL-1β levels and the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in THP-1 cells. Both compounds effectively inhibited the mRNA levels of IL-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 in P. gingivalis-stimulated gingival tissue of mice. These findings imply that 5β,19-epoxycucurbita-6,23-diene-3β,19,25-triol and 3β,7β,25-trihydroxycucurbita-5,23-dien-19-al could be used for the development of novel therapeutic approaches against P. gingivalis infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number454
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1



  • Anti-inflammation
  • Cucurbitane triterpenoid
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Wild bitter melon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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