Flavonoids, centaurein and centaureidin, from Bidens pilosa, stimulate IFN-γ expression

Shu Lin Chang, Yi Ming Chiang, Cicero Lee Tian Chang, Hsu Hua Yeh, Lie Fen Shyur, Yueh Hsiung Kuo, Tung-Kung Wu, Wen Chin Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


Bidens pilosa is used as an ethnical medicine for bacterial infection or immune modulation in Asia, America and Africa. Here, we employed an IFN-γ promoter-driven luciferase reporter construct and T cells to characterize immunomodulatory compounds from this plant based on a bioactivity-guided isolation principle. We found that PHA, a positive control, caused a six-fold increase in IFN-γ promoter activity. In contrast, hot water crude extracts from Bidens pilosa and its butanol subfraction increased IFN-γ promoter activity to two- and six-fold, respectively. Finally, centaurein (EC50 = 75 μg/ml) and its aglycone, centaureidin (EC50 = 0.9 μg/ml), isolated from this butanol subfraction, augmented IFN-γ promoter activity by ∼four-fold. Consistent with the role of centaurein or its aglycone in IFN-γ regulation, we showed that centaurein induced the activity of NFAT and NFκB enhancers, located within the IFN-γ promoter, in Jurkat cells. Overall, our results showed that centaurein regulated IFN-γ transcription, probably via NFAT and NFκB in T cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-236
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 13 Jun 2007


  • Bidens pilosa
  • Centaureidin
  • Centaurein
  • Flavonoid
  • Interferon gamma

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    Chang, S. L., Chiang, Y. M., Chang, C. L. T., Yeh, H. H., Shyur, L. F., Kuo, Y. H., Wu, T-K., & Yang, W. C. (2007). Flavonoids, centaurein and centaureidin, from Bidens pilosa, stimulate IFN-γ expression. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 112(2), 232-236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2007.03.001