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<i>Potentilla parvifolia </i>Fisch. (Rosaceae) is a traditional medicinal plant in P. R. China. In this study, seven flavonoids, ayanin (<b>1</b>), tricin (<b>2</b>), quercetin (<b>3</b>), tiliroside (<b>4</b>), miquelianin (<b>5</b>), isoquercitrin (<b>6</b>), and astragalin (<b>7</b>), were separated and purified from ethyl acetate extractive fractions from ethanol extracts of <i>P. parvifolia</i> using a combination of sevaral chromatographic methods. The human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells were differentiated with all trans-retinoic acid and treated with okadaic acid to induce tau protein phosphorylation and synaptic atrophy, which could establish an Alzheimer's disease cell model. The neuroprotective effects of these flavonoids in cellular were evaluated <i>in vitro</i> by this cell model. Results from the Western blot and morphology analysis suggested that compounds <b>3</b> and <b>4</b> had the better neuroprotective effects.

Obesity, a major health problem worldwide, is a complex multifactorial chronic disease that increases the risk for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension. In this study, we assessed methods to isolate hypaphorine, a potent drug candidate for obesity and insulin resistance. Semi-preparative reversed-phase liquid chromatography (semi-preparative RPLC) was established as a method to separate three compounds, adenosine, l-tryptophan, and hypaphorine, from the crude extracts of <i>Caragana korshinskii </i>Kom. Due to its specific chemical structure, the effect of hypaphorine on differentiation and dexamethasone (DXM) induced insulin resistance of 3T3-L1 cells was investigated. The structures of the three compounds were confirmed by UV, ¹H-NMR, and <sup>13</sup>C-NMR analysis and compared with published data. The activity results indicated that hypaphorine prevented the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes into adipocytes by down-regulating hormone-stimulated protein expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor <i>γ</i> (PPAR<i>γ</i>) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP<i>α</i>), and their downstream targets, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 c (SREBP1c) and fatty acid synthase (FAS). Hypaphorine also alleviated DXM-induced insulin resistance in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes <i>via</i> increasing the phosphorylation level of Akt2, a key protein in the insulin signaling pathway. Taken together, we suggest that the method can be applied to large-scale extraction and large-quantity preparation of hypaphorine for treatment of obesity and insulin resistance.

A new triterpenoid, namely myricarin C (compound 1), together with three known compounds myricarin A (compound 2) and myricarin B (compound 3), 3α-hydroxy-D-friedoolean-14-en-28-oic acid (compound 4), was isolated from the overground part of Myricaria squamosa. Compound 2 and compound 3 existed in the solution by the form of cis-trans isomers. Their structures were elucidated by means of extensive spectroscopic methods, including 1D-NMR, 2D-NMR, and HR-ESI-MS. The antioxidant properties of all compounds were calculated based on the DPPH radical scavenging activities. Results showed that myricarin A and myricarin C had general antioxidant activities with EC50 values of 40.90 μg/ml, 42.22 μg/ml, respectively, compared to the control, rutin (5.17 μg/ml). The EC50 values of myricarin B was 195.81 μg/ml. Compound 4 had no antioxidant activities.