The effects of chalcone derivatives on 12-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase of mouse epidermis were investigated. The chalcone derivatives which have 3,4-dihydroxycinnamoyl structure in the molecule, such as 3,4-dihydroxychalcone, 3,4,2′-trihydroxychalcone, 3,4,4′-trihydroxychalcone and 3,4,2′4′-tetrahydroxychalcone, potently inhibited epidermal 12-lipoxygenase activity. Although some of them also inhibited cyclooxygenase activity at relatively high concentrations, the inhibitory effects of these chalcone derivatives on 12-lipoxygenase were 10 times or more potent than their effects on cyclooxygenase. The chalcone derivatives which have cinnamoyl or 4-hydroxycinnamoyl structure, instead of 3,4-dihydroxycinnamoyl structure, in the molecule, showed little or no inhibitory effects on either 12-lipoxygenase or cyclooxygenase activities. The inhibitory effects of chalcone derivatives on 12-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase of mouse epidermis are dependent on the particular structure, i.e. 3,4-dihydroxycinnamoyl structure, of the chalcone derivatives.
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