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Forsythia fruit (Forsythia suspensa Vahl (Oleaceae)) is a common component of Kampo medicines for treating the common cold, influenza, and allergies. The main polyphenolic compounds in the leaves of F. suspensa are pinoresinol β-d-glucoside, phillyrin and forsythiaside, and their levels are higher in the leaves of the plant than in the fruit. It is known that polyphenolic compounds stimulate lipid catabolism in the liver and suppress dyslipidemia, thereby attenuating diet-induced obesity and polyphenolic anti-oxidants might attenuate obesity in animals consuming high-fat diets. Recently, phillyrin was reported as a novel cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor derived from forsythia fruit. It was expected that the leaves of F. suspensa might display anti-obesity effects and serve as a health food material. In this review, we summarized our studies on the biological effects of forsythia leaves containing phillyrin and other polyphenolic compounds, particularly against obesity, atopic dermatitis, and influenza A virus infection, and its potential as a phytoestrogen.


Sansei Nishibe, Kumiko Mitsui-Saitoh, Junichi Sakai, Takahiko Fujikawa. The Biological Effects of Forsythia Leaves Containing the Cyclic AMP Phosphodiesterase 4 Inhibitor Phillyrin. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 Apr 19;26(8)

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PMID: 33921630

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