Planta Med 2007; 73(2): 121-127
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-957066
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Antiplatelet Activity of Carnosic Acid, a Phenolic Diterpene from Rosmarinus officinalis

Jung-Jin Lee1 , 3 , Yong-Ri Jin2 , 3 , Ju-Hyun Lee1 , Ji-Yeon Yu1 , Xiang-Hua Han1 , Ki-Wan Oh1 , Jin Tae Hong1 , Tack-Joong Kim1 , Yeo-Pyo Yun1 , 2
  • 1College of Pharmacy, Research Center for Bioresource and Health, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea
  • 3These authors contributed equally to this work
Further Information

Publication History

Received: June 29, 2006

Accepted: November 6, 2006

Publication Date:
21 December 2006 (online)


Carnosic acid is a major phenolic diterpene derived from Rosmarinus officinalis and has been reported to have antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, antiobese and photoprotective activities. This study investigated the antiplatelet activity of carnosic acid. Carnosic acid significantly inhibited collagen-, arachidonic acid-, U46619- and thrombin-induced washed rabbit platelet aggregation in a concentration-dependent manner, with IC50 values of 39 ± 0.3, 34 ± 1.8, 29 ± 0.8 and 48 ± 2.9 μM, respectively, while it failed to inhibit PMA- (a direct PKC activator) and ADP-induced platelet aggregation. In agreement with its antiplatelet activity, carnosic acid blocked collagen-, arachidonic acid-, U46619- and thrombin-mediated cytosolic calcium mobilization. Accordingly, serotonin secretion and arachidonic acid liberation were also inhibited in a similar concentration-dependent manner. However, in contrast to the inhibition of arachidonic acid-induced platelet aggregation, carnosic acid had no effect on the formation of arachidonic acid-mediated thromboxane A2 and prostaglandin D2, thus indicating that carnosic acid has no effect on the cyclooxygenase and thromboxane A2 synthase activity. Overall, these results suggest that the antiplatelet activity of carnosic acid is mediated by the inhibition of cytosolic calcium mobilization and that carnosic acid has the potential of being developed as a novel antiplatelet agent.


Prof. Yeo-Pyo Yun, Ph. D.

College of Pharmacy

Chungbuk National University

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