Glycyrrhizin was found to inhibit prostaglandin E2production by activated rat peritoneal macrophages. Preincubation of the cells with glycyrrhizin increases its inhibitory effectiveness. Glycyrrhetinic acid, the aglycone of glycyrrhizin, at a dose of 100 μg per ml also inhibited prostaglandin E2production, but the inhibition was considered to be attributable to a toxic effect on the cells since more than 30% of the cells were detached from the dish during the 8 hr incubation period. In contrast, glycyrrhizin did not detach the cells from the dish at doses up to 3 mg per ml. Release of [3H]arachidonic acid from prelabeled cells was also inhibited by glycyrrhizin. It is likely that anti-inflammatory activity of glycyrrhizin depends at least in part on its inhibitory effect of the production of prostaglandin E2. © 1981.
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