Chronic inflammation has been recognized as an underlying pathophysiological mechanism in the initiation and progression of noncommunicable diseases, representing a significant morbidity and mortality cause worldwide. The prolonged use of anti-inflammatory drugs has been associated with different adverse effects, so there is a permanent need to develop new drugs to treat these pathologies. The anti-inflammatory potential of 37 extracts coming from 31 plant species from the Colombian Caribbean coast, was evaluated determining their ability to inhibit nitric oxide (NO) production using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activated macrophages. The most active extracts were evaluated for their effect on the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukins 1β and 6 (IL-1β and IL-6) in macrophages. Fifteen extracts showed potent inhibitory activity of the production of NO, being the extracts of Ambrosia cumanensis, Trichilia hirta, Hyptis capitata (leaves and seeds), Mammea americana, and Crateva tapia, the most active extracts. The extracts of A. cumanensis and M. americana were considered promising, which significantly decreased the production of all proinflammatory cytokine evaluated. The species of A. cumanensis and M. americana are a promising source of molecules with anti-inflammatory activity. They should be evaluated in in vivo models of inflammation, as well as perform their fractionation to identify the compounds responsible for the activity.
Key words: Natural Products, non-communicable diseases, inflammatory mediators, macrophages.