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Not to be confused with aesculin or aescin.
CAS number 305-01-1 YesY
PubChem 5281416
ChemSpider 4444764 YesY
KEGG C09263 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:490095 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Image 2
Molecular formula C9H6O4
Molar mass 178.14 g mol−1
Appearance white or light yellow powder
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Aesculetin (also known as esculetin, 6,7-dihydroxycoumarin and cichorigenin) is a derivative of coumarin. It is a natural lactone that derives from the intramolecular cyclization of a cinnamic acid derivative.

It is present in chicory and in many toxic and medicinal plants, in form of glycosides and caffeic acid conjugates.[2]

Esculetin-containing preparations used systemically can have an anticoagulant effect and might interact with anticoagulent drugs such as warfarin.

This compound is used in some sunscreens, but there is evidence that it acts as a photosensitizer for DNA damage.[3] The sodium salt of its methyl-derivative is used in dermatology for the treatment of varicose veins.[4]

It is a blue fluorescence compound found in plants.[5] Aesculin, the glucoside of aesculetin, will fluoresce under long wave ultraviolet light (360 nm). The hydrolysis of aesculin results in loss of this fluorescence. Aesculetin has the ability to quench the inner fluorescence of bovine serum albumin.[6]

Aesculetin can be transformed into scopoletin (7-hydroxy-6-methoxycoumarin) and isoscopoletin (6-hydroxy-7-methoxycoumarin) through incubation with rat liver catechol-O-methyltransferase.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Aesculetin". Sigma-Aldrich. 
  2. ^ Dey, P. M.; Harborne, J. B., eds. (1997). Plant Biochemistry. Academic Press. ISBN 9780122146749. 
  3. ^ Hausen, B. M.; Schmieder, M. (September 1986). "The sensitizing capacity of coumarins (I)". Contact Dermatitis 15 (3): 157–163. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1986.tb01317.x. PMID 3780217. 
  4. ^ ""Permethol" Data Sheet". 
  5. ^ Lang, M.; Stober, F.; Lichtenthaler, H. K. (1991). "Fluorescence emission spectra of plant leaves and plant constituents". Radiation And Environmental Biophysics 30 (4): 333–347. doi:10.1007/BF01210517. 
  6. ^ Liu, X.-F.; Xia, Y.-M.; Fang, Y.; Zou, L.; Liu, L.-L. (2004). "Interaction between natural pharmaceutical homologues of coumarin and bovine serum albumin". Huaxue xuebao 62 (16): 1484–1490.  INIST:16312595
  7. ^ Müller-Enoch, D.; Seidl, E.; Thomas, H. (1976). "6.7-Dihydroxycoumarin (Aesculetin) as a substrate for catechol-o-methyltransferase". Z. Naturforsch. C (in German) 31 (5-6): 280–284. PMID 134569.