Antispasmodic activity of prenylated phenolic compounds from the root bark of morus nigra

Zoofishan Zoofishan, Norbert Kúsz, Attila Csorba, Gábor Tóth, Judit Hajagos-Tóth, Anna Kothencz, Róbert Gáspár, Attila Hunyadi

Research output: Article


Black mulberry is a widely acknowledged ancient traditional medicine. Its extract and constituents have been reported to exert various bioactivities including antimicrobial, hypotensive, analgesic etc. effects. While black mulberry preparations are also used as antispasmodic agents in folk medicine, no related studies are available on its isolated constituents. Through an extensive chromatographic purification, seven phenolic compounds were isolated from the methanol extract of Morus nigra root bark, including morusin (1), kuwanon U (2), kuwanon E (3), moracin P (4), moracin O (5), albanol A (6), and albanol B (7). A complete NMR signal assignment of moracin P and O was achieved, and related literature errors confusing the identity of moracin derivatives are hereby clarified. Compounds 2, 5 and 7 were identified as strong antispasmodic agents on isolated rat ileum and tracheal smooth muscles, while compound 3, a methoxy derivative of 2, was inactive. Moracin O (5) inhibited the ileal and tracheal smooth muscle contractions with Emax values of 85% and 302 mg, respectively. Those actions were superior as compared with papaverine. Our findings demonstrate that prenylated arylbenzofurans, geranylated flavonoids and Diels-Alder adducts from Morus nigra are valuable antispasmodic agents. Compounds 2, 5 and 7 are suggested as marker compounds for quality control of antispasmodic mulberry preparations. Moracin O (5) is a new lead compound for related drug development initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2497
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this

Zoofishan, Z., Kúsz, N., Csorba, A., Tóth, G., Hajagos-Tóth, J., Kothencz, A., Gáspár, R., & Hunyadi, A. (2019). Antispasmodic activity of prenylated phenolic compounds from the root bark of morus nigra. Molecules, 24(13), [2497].