Total synthesis of viscolin, an anti-inflammatory 1,3-diphenylpropane isolated from Viscum coloratum, employing the Wittig reaction is reported. Key steps in the synthesis of viscolin depend on the selection of protecting groups to maintain the para hydroxyl group that is the most critical chemical structure influencing the biological activity of viscolin and the utilization of microwave-assisted Wittig olefination reaction. Anti-inflammatory potency of the synthetic viscolin, its precursor product 16, and its analogue 17, through their effects on reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO), and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in leukocytes and microglial cells were evaluated. Excellent inhibition of ROS and NO production in inflammatory cells could confer the synthetic viscolin to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of oxidative stress-induced diseases.
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