METHODS: The inhibitory effect of chrysin, kaempferol, morin, silibinin, quercetin, diosmin and hesperidin upon nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) secretion from the LPS-induced RAW 264.7 monocytic macrophage was assessed and IC(50) values obtained. Flavonoids that showed reasonable inhibitory effects in at least two out of the three assays were combined in a series of fixed IC(50) ratios and reassessed for inhibition of NO, PGE(2) and TNF-alpha. Dose-response curves were generated and interactions were analysed using isobolographic analysis.
RESULTS: The experiments showed that only chrysin, kaempferol, morin, and silibinin were potent enough to produce dose-response effects upon at least two out of the three mediators assayed. Combinations of these four flavonoids showed that several combinations afforded highly significant synergistic effects.
CONCLUSIONS: Some flavonoids are synergistic in their anti-inflammatory effects when combined. In particular chrysin and kaempferol significantly synergised in their inhibitory effect upon NO, PGE(2) and TNF-alpha secretion. These findings open further avenues of research into combinatorial therapeutics of inflammatory-related diseases and the pharmacology of flavonoid synergy.