Prior studies have emphasized the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of polyisoprenylated benzophenone derivatives, but their putative effect on allergic conditions has not yet been addressed. In the current study, the naturally occurring 7-epiclusianone, isolated from Garcinia brasiliensis, was investigated to check its effectiveness on allergen-evoked intestinal spasm. The standard antiallergic azelastine was used for comparison. We found that 7-epiclusianone and azelastine inhibited antigen-induced contractions of guinea pig ileum with similar IC (50) values (2.3 +/- 1.1 microM and 3.3 +/- 1.2 microM, respectively). A similar blockade of anaphylactic histamine release from the ileum was also noted. In contrast, azelastine was more potent than 7-epiclusianone to prevent spasms induced by histamine (IC (50) = 6.3 +/- 0.2 nM and 3.7 +/- 0.1 microM, respectively). These findings reveal that 7-epiclusianone is clearly active against the anaphylactic response and should be considered as a molecular template in drug discovery for allergic syndromes.