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1.  Errata 
Riadh et al. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011;8(3):322–327.
DETECTION AND EXTRACTION OF ANTI-LISTERIAL COMPOUNDS FROM CALLIGONUM COMOSUM, A MEDICINAL PLANT FROM ARID REGIONS OF TUNISIA.
Riadh H, Imen F, Abdelmajid Z, Sinda F.
Should read
Hammami et al. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011;8(3):322–327.
DETECTION AND EXTRACTION OF ANTI-LISTERIAL COMPOUNDS FROM CALLIGONUM COMOSUM, A MEDICINAL PLANT FROM ARID REGIONS OF TUNISIA.
Hammami R, Farhat I, Zouhir A, Fedhila S
PMCID: PMC3746587
2.  Errata 
Zhou et al., Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. (2012) 9(3):303–314
EXTRACTS OF SALVIA MILTIORRHIZA BUNGE ON THE CYTOKINES OF RAT ENDOMETRIOSIS MODELS
Zan-Hua Zhou 1, Qing Weng 2, Jian-Hong Zhou 3*, Jue Zhou 4*
1School of Medicine, Lishui University, Lishui, 323000, Zhejiang, China
2The Third People's Hospital of Yuhang District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 311115, China
3Women's Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310006, Zhejiang, Chin, 4College of Food Science and Biotechnology Engineering, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310035, China.
Email: juezhou2006@yahoo.com.cn
Acknowledgements
Dr. Jue Zhou was funded by Research Fund of Zhejiang Gongshang University (1110XJ2011023).
Should read thus
Zhou et al., Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. (2012) 9(3):303–314
EXTRACTS OF SALVIA MILTIORRHIZA BUNGE ON THE CYTOKINES OF RAT ENDOMETRIOSIS MODELS
Zan-Hua Zhou 1, Qing Weng 2, Jian-Hong Zhou 3*, Jue Zhou 4*
1School of Medicine, Lishui University, Lishui, 323000, Zhejiang, China
2The Third People's Hospital of Yuhang District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 311115, China
3Women's Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310006, Zhejiang, Chin, 4College of Food Science and Biotechnology Engineering, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310035, China.
Email: juezhou2006@yahoo.com.cn
Acknowledgements
Dr. Jue Zhou was funded by Research Fund of Zhejiang Gongshang University (1110XJ2011023). The first two authors (Zan-Hua Zhou and Qing Weng) contributed equally to the present study
PMCID: PMC3746588  PMID: 23986924
4.  The Anti-Oxidant Effects of Ginger and Cinnamon on Spermatogenesis Dys-function of Diabetes Rats 
Background
Diabetes rats have been linked to reproductive dysfunction and plant medicine has been shown to be effective in its treatment. Antioxidants have distinctive effects on spermatogenesis, sperm biology and oxidative stress, and changes in anti-oxidant capacity are considered to be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic diabetes mellitus. Ginger and cinnamon are strong anti-oxidants and have been shown to reduce oxidative stress in the long-term treatment of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes in animal models. The present study examined the influence of combined ginger and cinnamon on spermatogenesis in STZ-induced diabetes in male Wistar rats.
Materials and Methods
Animals (n = 80) were allocated randomly into eight groups, 10 each: Group 1: Control rats given only 5cc Normal saline (0.9% NaCl) daily;Group2: rats received ginger (100mg/kg/rat) daily; Group 3: rats received cinnamon (75mg/kg) daily; Group 4: rats received ginger and cinnamon, (100mg/kg/rat ginger and 75mg/kg cinnamon) daily; Group 5: Diabetic control rats received only normal saline. Group 6: Diabetic rats received 100mg/kg/day ginger; Group 7: Diabetic rats received 75mg /kg/ day cinnamon; Group 8: Diabetic rats received ginger and cinnamon (100mg/kg/day and 75mg/kg /day). Diabetes was induced with 55 mg/kg, single intra-peritoneal injection of STZ in all groups. At the end of the experiment (56th day), blood samples were taken for determination of testosterone, LH,FSH, total anti-oxidant capacity, and levels of malondialdehyde, SOD, Catalase and GPX. All rats were euthanized, testes were dissected out and spermatozoa were collected from the epididymis for analysis.
Results
Sperm numbers, percentages of sperm viability and motility, and total serum testosterone increased in ginger and cinnamon and combined ginger and cinnamon treated diabetic rats compared with control groups. Serum testosterone, LH and FSH were higher compared to control group and also serum anti-oxidants (TAC, SOD, GPX and catalase) all were increased at the end of treatment. Combined ginger and cinnamon showed more intense increase in all parameters compare to ginger and cinnamon alone. Most of the results were significant (P<0.05).
Conclusion
We concluded that combined ginger and cinnamon have significant beneficial effects on the sperm viability, motility, and serum total testosterone, LH,FSH and serum anti-oxidants' level and could be effective for maintaining healthy sperm parameters and male reproductive function in diabetics.
PMCID: PMC4202389  PMID: 25392573
Ginger; Cinnamon; Streptozotocin; Spermatogenesis; rat
5.  RAPD and SSR Based Genetic Diversity Analysis of Elite-2 Set of Synthetic Hexaploid Wheats 
Background
Synthetic hexaploid wheats are artificially reconstituted hexaploid wheats that possess high genetic variation which could be utilized for the development of new improved wheat varieties. One such group of synthetic wheats is called the Elite-II set of synthetic wheats that are derived from crossing durum wheat with different Aegilops tauschii wheats.
Materials and Methods
In the current study genetic diversity was investigated among 18 Elite-II synthetic hexaploid wheat lines at DNA level. Two types of molecular markers i.e. RAPD and SSR were used for this purpose.
Results
Both types of markers proved useful in estimating the overall genetic diversity among these lines. Based on RAPD data range of genetic distances in these lines was from 0 to 100 percent. Seven D-genome specific SSRs were also used to get further estimation of the genetic diversity contributed by Aegilops tauschii parent. On the basis of results obtained it is inferred that the Aegilops tauschi accessions used in the production of these synthetic lines were genetically different and they contributed to the enhancement of genetic variation in the synthetic lines. These results could be helpful for future genome mapping programs.
Conclusion
The overall extensive genitive diversity indicates that these lines are good candidates for development of improved wheat varieties by crossing with cultivated wheat varieties.
PMCID: PMC4202390  PMID: 25392574
Elite-II; molecular markers; RAPD; SSR; synthetic hexaploid wheat
6.  Anti-Oxidant Effects of Pomegranate Juice on Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Cell Growth 
Background
Pomegranate juice has a number of positive effects on both human and animal subjects.
Material and methods
Four groups were used in this study. i: Control group, ii: H2O2 group, iii: Pomegranate juice (PJ) group and iv: PJ + H2O2 group. Following the sterilization method for pomegranate juice (10%) and H2O2 (6% v/v), Saccharomyces cerevisiae cultures were added and the cultivation incubated at 35°C for 72 hours. Fatty acids and vitamin concentrations were measured using HPLC and GC and the total protein bands profile were determined by SDS-PAGE.
Results
According to our results statistically significant differences have been determined among the study groups in terms of fatty acids and vitamin (p<0,05). Fatty acid synthesis, vitamin control and cell density increased in groups to which PJ was given in comparison with the control group (p<0,05). Pomegranate juice increased vitamins, fatty acids and total protein expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in comparison with the control.
Conclusion
Pomegranate juice has a positive effect on fatty acid, vitamin and protein synthesis by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Accordingly, we believe that it has significantly decreased oxidative damage thereby making a positive impact on yeast development.
PMCID: PMC4202391  PMID: 25392575
Pomegranate juice; SDS-PAGE; fatty acid; vitamin
7.  Chemical Composition Profiling and Antifungal Activity of the Essential Oil and Plant Extracts of Mesembryanthemum Edule (L.) Bolus Leaves 
Background
Essential oil from Mesembryanthemum edule leaves have been used by the Eastern Cape traditional healers for the treatment of respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, dysentery, diabetic mellitus, laryngitis and vaginal infections. The investigation of bioactive compounds in the essential oil of this plant could help to verify the efficacy of the plant in the management or treatment of these illnesses.
Materials and methods
Various concentrations of the hydro-distilled essential oil, ranging from 0.005–5 mg/ml, were tested against some fungal strains, using the micro-dilution method. Minimum inhibitory activity was compared with four other different crude extracts of hexane, acetone, ethanol and aqueous samples from the same plant. The chemical composition of the essential oil, hexane, acetone and ethanol extracts was determined using GC-MS.
Results
GC/MS analysis of the essential oil resulted in the identification of 28 compounds, representing 99.99% of the total oil. Phytoconstituents of hexane, acetone and ethanol extracts yielded a total peak chromatogram of fifty nine compounds. A total amount of 10.6% and 36.61% of the constituents were obtained as monoterpenes and oxygenated monoterpenes. Sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (3.58%) were relatively low compared to the oxygenated sesquiterpenes (9.28%), while the major concentrated diterpenes and oxygenated diterpenes were 1.43% and 19.24 %, respectively and phytol 12.41%. Total amount of fatty acids and their methyl esters content, present in the oil extract, were found to be 19.25 %. Antifungal activity of the oil extract and four solvent extracts were tested against five pathogenic fungal strains. The oil extract showed antifungal activity against Candida albican, Candida krusei, Candida rugosa, Candida glabrata and Cryptococcus neoformans with MIC ranges of 0.02 0.31 mg/ml. Hexane extract was active against the five fungal strains with MICs ranging between 0.02–1.25 mg/ml. Acetone extracts were active against C. krusei only at 0.04mg/ml. No appreciable antifungal activity was found in either ethanol or water extracts when compared with commercial antibiotics.
Conclusion
The profile of chemical constituents found in M. edule essential oil and its antifungal properties support the use of M. edule by traditional healers as well as in the pharmaceutical and food industries as a natural antibiotic and food preservative.
PMCID: PMC4202392  PMID: 25392576
Mesembryanthemum edule; Essential oil; GC/MS; Antifungal activity; Opportunistic fungi
8.  Biocompatibility of Bio Based Calcium Carbonate Nanocrystals Aragonite Polymorph on NIH 3T3 Fibroblast Cell Line 
Background
Currently, there has been extensive research interest for inorganic nanocrystals such as calcium phosphate, iron oxide, silicone, carbon nanotube and layered double hydroxide as a drug delivery system especially in cancer therapy. However, toxicological screening of such particles is paramount importance before use as delivery carrier. In this study we examine the biocompatibility of CaCO3 nanocrystal on NIH 3T3 cell line.
Material and Methods
Transmission and field emission scanning electron microscopy (TEM and FESEM) were used for the characterisation of CaCO3 nanocrystals. Cytotoxicity and genotoxic effect of calcium carbonate nanocrystals in cultured mouse embryonic fibroblast NIH 3T3 cell line using various bioassays including MTT, and Neutral red/Trypan blue double-staining assays. LDH, BrdU and reactive oxygen species were used for toxicity analysis. Cellular morphology was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal fluorescence microscope.
Results
The outcome of the analyses revealed a clear rod-shaped aragonite polymorph of calcium carbonate nanocrystal. The analysed cytotoxic and genotoxicity of CaCO3 nanocrystal on NIH 3T3 cells using different bioassays revealed no significance differences as compared to control. A slight decrease in cell viability was noticed when the cells were exposed to higher concentrations of 200 to 400 µg/ml, while increase in ROS generation and LDH released at 200 and 400 µg/ml was observed.
Conclusions
The study has shown that CaCO3 nanocrystal is biocompatible and non toxic to NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells. The analysed results offer a promising potential of CaCO3 nanocrystal for the development of intracellular drugs, genes and other macromolecule delivery systems.
PMCID: PMC4202393  PMID: 25392577
Biocompatibility; Calcium carbonate; nanocrystals; drugs and Cockle shells
9.  Ultrastructure and Elemental Analysis of Hypoxis Hemerocallidea: A Multipurpose Medicinal Plant 
Background
Herbal medicine is a popular means of medical management in some parts of the world especially in Africa. Hypoxis hemerocallidea Fisch.C.A.Mey. & Avé-Lall, also known as African potato of the Hypoxidaecae family, is one of the medicinal plants that have enjoyed long usage as an herbal medicine in South Africa. In this study, the morphology and elemental constituents of H. hemerocallidea leaf was investigated to correlate the functional role of the ultrastructure in the production of therapeutic compounds.
Materials and Methods
Fresh leaves of H. hemerocallidea were prepared for analysis using standard methods. The ultrastructure and crystal deposits of the plant were assessed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive x-ray (EDX).
Results
It was observed that the leaves were characterised by multicelullar glandular and non glandular trichomes which are sparsely distributed over the entire surfaces. The glandular trichomes (GTs) in H. hemerocallidea leaf have boulbous heads which are probably filled with secretions, while the non glandular trichomes were long, fibrous and sparse. EDX-SEM of Hypoxis hemerocallidea leaf revealed that carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and silicon are the major components of the deposits, while other elements such as iron, sulphur, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iodine, chromium and iodine were present in small but variable amounts.
Conclusion
The presence of these elements which are crucial to maintaining good health, in addition to other bioactive constituents might be accountable for the multipurpose therapeutic uses of Hypoxis hemerocallidea in the treatment of cancers, HIV/AIDS related diseases, urinary tract infections, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and other chronic ailments of humans.
PMCID: PMC4202394  PMID: 25392578
mineral elements; Hypoxis hemerocallidea; multipurpose medicinal plant; scanning electron microscope; trichomes; ultrastructure; EDX-MS analysis
10.  Laxative Activities of Cassia Sieberiana and Senna Obtusifolia 
Background
The root and stem bark of Cassia sieberiana DC. (Caesalpiniaceae) and the root of Senna obtusifolia (Linn) Irwin and Barneby (Caesalpiniaceae), used for constipation in Nigeria, were assayed for laxative properties in male albino rats using the official senna leaf (Senna alexandrina Mill. family Caesalpiniaceae) as the reference standard. This is with a view to finding alternative laxative drug to official senna which is presently being imported into Nigeria from the United Kingdom.
Materials and Methods
The mean percentage of wet faeces in rats, an indication of laxative activity, were obtained using established methods. The laxative activity was established at 500 mg/kg after the infusion of the drug was orally administered on male albino rats following established methods while a set of data was analyzed at 95 % confidence level.
Results
At 500 mg/kg, Senna obtusifolia root gave about 45 % wet faeces while Cassia sieberiana root gave about 40 % wet faeces while at the highest dose of 700 mg/kg, they produced 60 % and 38 % wet faeces, respectively. At these two doses, the official Senna gave 50.6 % and 66 % wet faeces, respectively. Thus, S. obtusifolia and C. sieberiana roots exhibited 89 % and 80 % of the potency of S. alexandrina (the official drug), respectively. The analysis of variance revealed a significant statistical difference in the levels of wet faeces produced by rats dosed with C. sieberiana root.
Conclusion
The results have shown that the roots of the two species could be developed as mild laxative drugs for children and pregnant women for whom the official senna will be contraindicated.
PMCID: PMC4202395  PMID: 25392579
Cassia sieberiana; Senna obtusifolia; Gastrointestinal; Laxative
11.  Phytotherapeutic Activity of Euphorbia Cyparissias Extracts on Ixodidae (Acari) Female Ticks 
Background
Given its numerous biologically active components, Euphorbiaceae has been found to be a large plant family and polyvalent with quite interesting therapeutic activity that can be studied.
Materials and Methods
The ixodicidal activity of Euphorbia cyparissias extracts was studied in vitro and in vivo. Tested concentrations were 10, 5, 2, 1, 0.5 and 0.25%.
Results
For the in vitro study, conducted on field-collected female specimens of Dermacentor marginatus and Haemaphysalis punctata, the efficacy results showed that the ticks died after exposure in the case of 10, 5, and 2% tincture concentrations. The effects appeared after 30 minutes and became more visible 120 minutes after each exposure. The statistical differences regarding the used concentrations were found to be: F = 6.51, df = 5, P < 0.001. The in vivo study of the efficacy of E. cyparissias concentrations was performed on 35 naturally infested sheep and on 30 bovines parasitized with Ixodes ricinus, sprayed with tincture and glycerinate dilutions (bovines) on days 0 and 7. The results revealed detrimental effects on the survivability of female ticks, the most prominent being the reduction of their movement capacity. In sheep in vivo efficiency observed within 24 hrs varied, between 1 and 23% for D. marginatus and between 7 and 27% for H. punctata and respectively between 2 and 53% after 24 hrs, for I. ricinus, comparable effects being also found 72 hrs after the second administration of Euphorbia extracts.
Conclusion
Extracts from E. cyparissias may be used, with results, as an ecologic alternative tick control management method, being a cheap solution, with a sizeable role in reducing the use of synthetic and/or other harming and resistance source ixodicidal conditionings.
PMCID: PMC4202396  PMID: 25392580
bio-control; Euphorbia; Acari: Ixodidae; ruminants
12.  The Inhibitory Activity of the Extracts of Popular Medicinal Herbs on CYP1A2, 2C9, 2C19 and 3A4 and the Implications for Herb-Drug Interaction 
Background
Studies have suggested an increasing practice of concurrent herb-drug consumption. One of the major clinical risks of such concomitant herb-drug use is pharmacokinetic herb-drug interaction (HDI). This is brought about by the ability of phytochemicals to inhibit or induce the activity of metabolic enzymes. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of the crude aqueous extracts of three popular medicinal herbs used in South Africa to inhibit major cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes.
Materials and Methods
The extracts of Bowiea volubilis, Spirostachys africana and Tulbaghia violacea were incubated with human liver microsomes (HLM) to monitor the phenacetin O-deethylation, diclofenac 4′-hydroxylation, S-mephenytoin 4′-hydroxylation and testosterone 6β-hydroxylation as respective probe reactions for CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A4. The inhibitory activity, where observed, was profiled against the extract concentration.
Results
Extracts of Bowiea volubilis inhibited the metabolic activity of CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 with IC50 values of 92.3 ± 5.5 µg/mL and 8.1 ± 0.6 µg/mL respectively. Similar observation with Spirostachys africana showed inhibitory activity against CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 with respective IC50 values of 14.3 ± 0.6 µg/mL and 47.4 ± 2.4 µg/mL. Tulbaghia violacea demonstrated relatively weak inhibitory activity against CYP1A2 (767.4 ± 10.8 µg/mL) and CYP2C9 (921 ± 15.3 µg/mL).
Conclusion
The results suggest the potential for HDI between the herbs and the substrates of the affected enzymes, if sufficient in vivo concentration is attained.
PMCID: PMC4202397  PMID: 25392581
Cytochrome P450; drug metabolism; enzyme inhibition; herb-drug interaction; liver microsomes
13.  Cytotoxicity of Selected Medicinal Plants Used in Mt. Frere District, South Africa 
Background
In South African traditional medicine, some are plants known to combat pediatric diseases and are commonly used by traditional healers. The aim was to evaluate cytotoxicity effects of plants.
Materials and methods
The ground plant material was exhaustively extracted using methanol, acetone and water separately for 72 hrs. These organic solvents were removed from filtrates using a rotavapour. Stock solutions were prepared at 40 mg/ml Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and test solutions were transferred into vials and 10 brine shrimps introduced in each. The number of dead shrimps was counted to ascertain toxicity. Ten A. salina nauplii (larva) were transferred into each sample vial and filtered brine solution was added to make 5 ml. The nauplii were counted macroscopically in the stem of the pipette against a lighted background. A drop of dry yeast suspension was added as food to each vial. Probit analysis was used to determine the concentration at which lethality to brine shrimp represents 50 % (LC50).
Results
All the tested extracts showed that the concentration is directly proportional to death of brine shrimps. Fifty percent lethality (LC50) of the tested crude extract ranged between 4.1 and 4.6 µg/ml with methanol extract of B. abyssinica being the lowest and T. acutiloba the highest.
Conclusion
This study revealed that 100% of plant crude extracts screened for activity against Artemisia salina larvae showed strong cytotoxicity below 10 µg/ml and plant species with LC50 values < 1000 µg/ml may not make good paediatric remedies due to their inherent toxicity.
PMCID: PMC4202398  PMID: 25392582
Medicinal plants; traditional pediatrics; cytotoxicity
14.  Chemopreventive Activity of Methanol Extract of Melastoma Malabathricum Leaves in DMBA-Induced Mouse Skin Carcinogenesis 
Background
Melastoma malabathricum L. Smith (family Melastomaceae) is a shrub that has been used by the Malay practitioners of traditional medicine to treat various types of ailments. The present study aimed to determine the chemopreventive activity of methanol extract of M. malabathricum leaves (MEMM) using the standard 7,12-dimethylbenz(α)anthracene (DMBA)/croton oil-induced mouse skin carcinogenesis model.
Materials and Methods
In the initiation phase, the mice received a single dose of 100µl/100 µg DMBA (group I–V) or 100µl acetone (group VI) topically on the dorsal shaved skin area followed by the promotion phase involving treatment with the respective test solutions (100 µl of acetone, 10 mg/kg curcumin or MEMM (30, 100 and 300mg/kg)) for 30 min followed by the topical application of tumour promoter (100µl croton oil). Tumors were examined weekly and the experiment lasted for 15 weeks.
Results
MEMM and curcumin significantly (p<0.05) reduced the tumour burden, tumour incidence and tumour volume, which were further supported by the histopathological findings.
Conclusion
MEMM demonstrated chemoprevention possibly via its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, and the action of flavonoids like quercitrin.
PMCID: PMC4202399  PMID: 25392583
Melastomaceae; skin cancer; anti-carcinogenic activity
15.  Foliar Micro-Morphology of Gasteria Bicolor Haw. (Asphodelaceae) from South Africa 
Background
The succulent genus, Gasteria, which comprises 16 species, is endemic to South Africa and has its main centre of distribution in the Savanna Region of the Eastern Cape. Whereas G. bicolor has been investigated phyto-chemically and pharmacologically, not much data concerning the anatomical and micro-morphological features can be found in literature.
Materials and Methods
This study was undertaken, using light and scanning electron microscopy to obtain information on the micro-morphological features of this important medicinal plant to facilitate its identification and authentication. The elemental composition of the leaf was determined by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS).
Results
The epidermal cells are either hexagonal or pentagonal in form, and are compactly arranged with undulate anti-clinal cell walls. The epidermal cell width was approximately 50 µm. Stomata apertures are elliptical and the upper epidermis of the leaf has paracytic stomata which are slightly raised above the epidermal surface with 4 to 5 subsidiary cells surrounding each stoma. Based on the EDXS microanalysis, the mineral crystals present at the level of the mesophyll of G. bicolor were probably mixtures of calcium oxalate, calcium sulphate and silica.
Conclusion
The co-occurrence of aluminum suggests the potential role of the crystals in detoxification of aluminum and heavy metals, as reported previously.
PMCID: PMC4202400  PMID: 25392584
Foliar micro-morphology; Gasteria bicolor; light microscopy; scanning electron microscopy
16.  Pigmentation and Dermal Conservative Effects of the Astonishing Algae Sargassum Polycystum and Padina Tenuis on Guinea Pigs, Human Epidermal Melanocytes (HEM) and Chang Cells 
Background
The preference for a fairer skin-tone has become a common trend among both men and women around the world. In this study, seaweeds Sargassum polycystum and Padina tenuis were investigated for their in vitro and in vivo potentials in working as skin whitening agents. Seaweed has been used as a revolutionary skin repairing agent in both traditional and modern preparations. The high antioxidant content is one of the prime reasons for its potent action. It has been employed in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. For centuries, most medical practitioners in the Asian cultures have known seaweed as an organic source of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 and antioxidants. The present objective of the study was to evaluate the potent dermal protective effect of the two seaweeds Sargassum polycystum and Padina tenuis on human cell lines and guinea pigs.
Material and Methods
Seaweeds were extracted with ethanol and further fractionated with hexane, ethyl acetate and water. The extracts were tested for mushroom tyrosinase inhibitory activity, cytotoxicity in human epidermal melanocyte (HEM), and Chang cells. Extracts with potent melanocytotoxicity were formulated into cosmetic cream and tested on guinea pigs in dermal irritation tests and de-pigmentation assessments.
Results
Both Sargassum polycystum and Padina tenuis seaweeds showed significant inhibitory effect on mushroom tyrosinase in the concentration tested. SPEt showed most potent cytotoxicity on HEM (IC50 of 36µg/ml), followed by SPHF (65µg/ml), and PTHF (78.5µg/ml). SPHF and SPEt reduced melanin content in skin of guinea pigs when assessed histologically.
Conclusion
SPEt, SPHF and PTHF were able to inhibit HEM proliferation in vitro, with SPHF being most potent and did not cause any dermal irritation in guinea pigs. The results obtained indicate that SPHF is a promising pharmacological or cosmetic agent.
PMCID: PMC4202401  PMID: 25392585
Hyper-pigmentation; Melanogenesis; Padina tenuis; Sargassum polycystum; Tyrosinase; Whitening effect
17.  Larvicidal Properties of Simalikalactone D from Quassia Africana (Simaroubaceae) Baill and Baill, on the Malaria Vector Anopheles Gambiae 
Background
Botanical and microbial insecticides have been increasingly used for the control of mosquito given their efficacy and documented nontoxic effects on non-target organisms. The discovery of new insecticides is imperative because of the development of resistance by the mosquitoes to the readily available insecticides. The aim of this study was therefore to isolate and characterize compounds from a local medicinal plant, Quassia africana Baill and Baill (Simaroubaceae) that were toxic to Anopheles gambiae.
Material and methods
The methanol extracts of the leaves, stem and roots of Quassia africana were tested against fourth instar larvae of An. gambiae. The root extract was partitioned into hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate and the resulting extracts screened for larvicidal properties. The extracts and the fraction with the highest bioactivity were subjected to repeated column chromatography and isolated compounds evaluated for potential toxicity to An. gambiae larvae. The structure of the active compound was elucidated using spectroscopic techniques.
The root extract showed the strongest activity profile (LC50 = 17.58 µg/mL). The chloroform soluble fraction obtained after partitioning the crude extract into solvents based on polarities was the most toxic. Further bio-activity-guided chromatographic separation of the chloroform fraction of the root extract led to the identification and isolation of a simalikalactone D as the larvicidal compound in Q. africana (LC50 = 1.25 µg/mL).
Results
Results suggest that Q. africana may serve as a source for vector control agent for malaria.
Conclusion
Simalikalactone D was identified as the larvicidal compound in Q. africana (LC50 = 1.25 µg/mL).
PMCID: PMC4202402  PMID: 25392586
vector control; larvicidal activity; spectroscopy
18.  Remedial Applications of Silencing Ribonucleic Acids and Modalities for Its Delivery to the Kidneys - A Review 
Background
The Kidney has been the target organ for the delivery of silencing ribonucleic acids (silencing RNA) administered systemically in comparison to other body tissues.
Materials and method
In this review, we discussed different approaches made to delivering proteins to the kidneys in different conditions like normal and pathological defects. Data from clinical experiments have been used to discuss and support the administration of silencing RNA for the treatment of kidney diseases.
Results
Results were achieved using the available genome wide RNA libraries.
Conclusion
The research results are helpful in application to 3D and conventional models to find the involvement of signal pathways in kidney diseases.
PMCID: PMC4202403  PMID: 25392587
silencing RNA; kidney disease; targeting proteins; signal pathways
19.  Effects of Ciji Hua'ai Baosheng Granule Formula (CHBGF) on Life Time, Pathology, Peripheral Blood Cells of Tumor Chemotherapy Model Mouse with H22 Hepatoma Carcinoma Cells 
Background
Ciji Hua'ai Baosheng Granule Formula (CHBGF) is a traditional Chinese empirical formula that can help the tumor patients who have received chemotherapy antagonize the toxin and side-effects so as to improve and prolong the life. This study is to evaluate the effects of CHBGF on improving life quality in terms of survival time, pathology of tumor tissue and ameliorating peripheral blood cells in mouse chemotherapy model with subcutaneous transplanted tumor or ascitic tumor of H22 hepatoma carcinoma cells at an overall level.
Materials and Methods
71 mice among the 92 Kunming mice were injected subcutaneously into the right anterior armpit with H22 hepatoma carcinoma cells, after 7 days, which had formed tumors and were used peritoneal injection of Cytoxan (CTX) (200mg/kg) to establish the mouse chemotherapy model with transplanted tumor, and then which were commensurately divided into 8 groups by random digits table. 21 mice were injected into peritoneal cavity to use CTX and the same method to establish the model. The groups for evaluating the effects on the survival time were the model, CHBGF and positive control group respectively with 7 mice in each group. The groups for evaluating the effects on anti-cancer were the model group, three treatment groups and positive control group with 10 mice in each group. The survival-time-observing groups were given intragastric administration of normal saline, CHBGF (64g/kg) once a day, and peritoneal injection of 5-Fluorouracil (25mg/kg) once every other day respectively. The survival time of each group was observed. The five anti-cancer-observing groups were given intragastric administration of normal saline, CHBGF (64g/kg, 32g/kg and 16g/kg) once a day, and peritoneal injection of 5-Fluorouracil (25mg/kg) once every other day respectively. After treatment for 21 days, the transplanted tumors were peeled off. Blood was collected through pricking eyeball and analyzed by hematology analyzer. And postchemotherapy transplanted tumor inhibition ratios were calculated. Pathological changes of tumor tissues and blood smears were observed with light microscope.
Results
The life prolonging rate of CHBGF (64g/kg) group with transplanted tumor is 20.14%, and their survival time was longer than that of the 5-Fluorouracil group (P<0.05). Life prolonging rate of CHBGF (64g/kg) group with ascitic tumor is 64.15%, the survival time was longer than that of the model group (P<0.01) and the 5-Fluorouracil group (P<0.05). The growth of the transplanted tumor in model group was faster than that in CHBGF (64g/kg) group and 5-Fluorouracil group (P<0.05). The tumor average weight of the positive drug and the CHBGF (64g/kg, 32g/kg) groups was lighter than that of the model group (P<0.05 or P<0.01). The inhibition ratios of CHBGF (64g/kg, 32g/kg and 16g/kg) groups are 31.15%, 21.31%, and 13.11% respectively. Under light microscope, in the positive drug and three CHBGF groups the pathological deteriorated severity of tumor tissue observed was milder than that in the model group, the distribution of WBC in CHBGF groups was more obvious than that of the model and 5-Fluorouracil groups. The WBC and PLT decrease in CHBGF (64g/kg, 32g/kg and 16g/kg) groups is less than the model and the 5-Fluorouracil group (P<0.05 or P<0.01), the number of RBC and HGB just in the CHBGF (64g/kg) group was more than that of the model group or the 5-Fluorouracil group (P<0.05).
Conclusion
Ciji Hua'ai Baosheng Granule Formula can prolong the survival time of the mice chemotherapy model of both subcutaneous transplanted tumor and ascitic tumor of H22 hepatoma carcinoma cells, has some determinate inhibitory effects on the growth of subcutaneous transplanted tumor chemo-treated, and has the therapeutic effect on antagonizing decrease of WBC and PLT caused by chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4202404  PMID: 25392588
Ciji Hua'ai Baosheng Granule Formula (CHBGF); tumor chemotherapy model; transplanted tumor; ascitic tumor; survival time; pathology; peripheral blood cell; H22 hepatoma carcinoma cell
20.  Da-Cheng-Qi Decoction, A Traditional Chinese Herbal Formula, for Intestinal Obstruction: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
Background
This study was aimed at determining the effects and safety of Da-Cheng-Qi decoction (DCQD) or DCQD combined with conservative therapy in patients with intestinal obstruction.
Materials and Methods
PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and several other databases were searched. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of DCQD or DCQD plus conservative therapy in patients with intestinal obstruction were eligible. Therapeutic effect was estimated by the improvement of clinical manifestations and diagnostic imaging; dichotomous/ordinal data assessment of overall response to therapy, adverse effects; or continuous variable were identified, including time to first bowel movement, time to first flatus, length of hospital stay.
Results
Sixty eligible RCTs including 6,095 patients were identified. Response rate: (1) DCQD versus conservative therapy (6 RCTs, 361 patients, RR of respond =1.13; 95% CI 0.97 to 1.31). (2) DCQD plus conservative therapy versus conservative therapy (48 RCTs, 4,916 patients, RR of respond =1.25 which favoured DCQD plus conservative therapy; 95% CI 1.20 to 1.30). Treatment effect remained similar when RCTs at high risk of bias were excluded. Time to first flatus postoperatively: (1) DCQD versus conservative therapy (2 RCTs, 240 patients, SMD=-3.65; 95% CI −8.17 to 0.87). (2) DCQD plus conservative therapy versus conservative therapy (11 RCTs, 1,040 patients, SMD=−2.09 which favoured DCQD plus conservative therapy; 95% CI −3.04 to −1.15).
Conclusion
DCQD combined with conservative therapy may increase the success rate of conservative therapy for intestinal obstruction significantly and can shorten the duration of postoperative ileus in patients undergoing abdominal surgery compared with conservative therapy alone.
PMCID: PMC4202405  PMID: 25392589
Da-Cheng-Qi-Tang; Intestinal Obstruction; Ileus; Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction; Meta-Analysis
21.  Izalpinin from Fruits of Alpinia Oxyphylla with Antagonistic Activity Against the Rat Bladder Contractility 
Background
Alpinia oxyphylla (Zingiberaceae), an herbaceous perennial plant, its capsular fruit is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of different urinary incontinence symptoms including frequency, urgency and nocturia. These symptoms are similar to the overactive bladder syndrome. In our lab, we found that the 95% ethanol extract of the capsular fruits exhibited significant anti-muscarinic activity. Some constituents in capsular fruits including flavonoids (e.g., izalpinin and tectochrysin), diarylheptanoids (e.g., yakuchinone A and yakuchinone B) and sesquiterpenes (e.g., nootkatone), are regarded as representative chemicals with putative pharmacological activities.
Objective
This study aimed to evaluate the in vitro antagonistic actions of izalpinin on carbachol-induced contraction of the rat detrusor muscle.
Materials and Methods
In vitro inhibition of rat detrusor contractile response to carbachol was used to study the functional activity of izalpinin. The isolated detrusor strips of rats were mounted in organ baths containing oxygenated Krebs' solution. The cumulative consecutive concentration-response curves to carbachol-evoked contractions in strips of rat bladder were obtained.
Results
Carbachol induced concentration-dependent contractions of isolated rat bladder detrusor strips. The vehicle DMSO had no impact on the contraction response. The contraction effects were concentration-dependently antagonized by izalpinin, with a mean EC50 value of 0.35 µM. The corresponding cumulative agonist concentration-response curves shifted right-ward.
Conclusions
Izalpinin exhibits inhibitory role of muscarinic receptor-related detrusor contractile activity, and it may be a promising lead compound to treat overactive bladder.
PMCID: PMC4202406  PMID: 25392590
Izalpinin; rat bladder; muscarinic receptor; antagonistic action
22.  Prevalence and Acceptability of Male Circumcision in South Africa 
Background
The objectives of the current national study were to determine the rates of self-reported circumcision among South African men and, more importantly, evaluate the acceptability of male circumcision in South Africa by uncircumcised adult men and all adult women.
Materials and Methods
The study based on a population-based survey included a nationally representative subgroup of 6654 men aged 15 years and older who where included in the analysis on male circumcision prevalence, and a subgroup of 6796 women aged 15 to 49 years who were included in the analysis on male circumcision acceptance.
Results
An overall prevalence of self-reported male circumcision of 42.8% was found. Among the Black African population group the prevalence of male circumcision was 48.2%, 32.1% were traditionally and 13.4% were medically circumcised. Among males not circumcised 45.7% of 15–24 years olds indicated that they would consider being circumcised compared to 28.3% among 25–49 years olds. In multivariate analysis among non-circumcised men Black African and Coloured population groups and having heard of the HIV protective effect of male circumcision were significant predictors for male circumcision acceptability, and among women with a non-circumcised sexual partner, Black African and Coloured population groups and higher education were predictors for male circumcision acceptability.
Conclusion
The study found high rates and high acceptability of male circumcision. Findings associated with the acceptability of male circumcision can be used to increase awareness of the benefits of male circumcision for HIV prevention.
PMCID: PMC4202407  PMID: 25392591
Male circumcision; prevalence; acceptability; national population-based survey; South Africa
23.  Is Ingestion of Thasus Gigas (Xamues) an Alimentary Culture or an Auxiliary Treatment for Type II Diabetes? 
Background
Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from the body's inability to produce and/or use insulin. Among different types of diabetes, type II diabetes is the most common. This work studied the causes and effects of Thasus gigas on the population of Actopan, Hidalgo regarding its ingestion and utility in the treatment of type II diabetes.
Material and Methods
An exploratory study was carried out based on a survey conducted among the residents of Actopan, Hidalgo suffering from diabetes mellitus (type II). In order to investigate the effect of the ingestion of insects “xohues” or “shamues”, a study was conducted on 100 adults among the population of Actopan, Hidalgo in order to get information on Thasus gigas consumption. The study was designed to identify the relationships between its usage, effects on human health, the reasons for its consumption by the Actopan community; either for cultural matters or as an alternative treatment to manage type II diabetes.
Results
Of the 100 persons surveyed, 39 were diabetic, 29 made medical outpatient visits. Among these, 21 had eaten Xamues to manage their diabetes while 21.5% replaced their medical treatment with Xamues. Of the 53% of the people who ingested Xamues as an alternative for their disease, 13% abandoned their medical treatment while 33% consumed them for alimentary culture.
Conclusion
People who have stopped attending medical checkups are at risk, because there is no evidence that ingestion of these insects can regulate blood glucose levels.
PMCID: PMC4202408  PMID: 25392592
Alimentary culture; medical treatment; Thasus gigas; type II diabetes
24.  Combinative Effects of Thanh Hao Miet Giap Thang (Sweet Wormwood and Tortoise Shell Decoction) Ingredients on Antioxidative Activity In Vitro 
Background
Traditional formulae usually exhibit therapeutic effects through the combinations of different ingredients. The purpose of this study was to investigate in vitro anti-oxidative activity of Thanh Hao Miet Giap Thang (THMGT) (Sweet Wormwood and Tortoise Shell Decoction) formula and the interactions of its ingredients leading to the overall anti-oxidative effect.
Materials and Methods
We prepared 31 combinations containing two to four of the five ingredients including Herba Artemisia apiacea L (HbA), Carapax Trionycis (Tryonix sinensis) (CT), Rhizoma Anemarrhenae (Anemarrhena asphodeloides) (RzA), Radix Rehmanniae (Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch) (RdR), Moutan Cortex (Paeonia suffruticosa) (MC). These combinations were tested for anti-oxidative activity using DCFH-DA and DPPH assays on Hep G2 cells. We also analyzed changes in expression of genes involved in antioxidant defense system including Nuclear Factor Erythroid-Derived 2-Like 2 (NFE2L2), catalase (CAT), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), cytoplasmic superoxide dismutase (SOD1), mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD2).
Results
The complete formula and all combinations containing Moutan Cortex showed high antioxidant activity in both radical solution-based chemical assay and cellular-based assay. On the contrary, Carapax Trionycis displayed inhibitory effect on the overall antioxidant activity when present in a combination, an effect clearly emphasized in cellular-based assay. Hep G2 cells treated with the formula showed increased gene expression of HO-1 and SOD2 while expression of CAT, SOD1, GPx was unchanged.
Conclusion
Our results suggested that THMGT had anti-oxidative activity essentially through intrinsic reducing capacities and the overall activity of the formula resulted from enhancing and inhibiting interactions of ingredients.
PMCID: PMC4202409  PMID: 25392593
Thanh Hao Miet Giap Thang; Sweet Wormwood and Tortoise Shell Decoction; antioxidant; traditional formula
25.  Evaluation of Three Medicinal Plant Extracts Against Plasmodium Falciparum and Selected Microganisms 
Background
A great revival of scientific interests in drug discovery has been witnessed in recent years from medicinal plants for health maintenance. The aim of this work was to investigate three Nigerian medicinal plants collected in Nigeria for their in vitro antiplasmodial and antimicrobial activities.
Materials and Methods
Extracts obtained from parts of Persea americana, Jatropha podagrica and Picralima nitida and their fractions were evaluated for in vitro antiprotozoal and antimicrobial activity.
Result
The methanol extract of P. nitida demonstrated activity against chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum clones with IC50 values of 6.3 and 6.0 µg/mL, respectively. Methanol and chloroform extracts of P. americana seed showed antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans IC50 less than 8 and 8.211 µg/mL respectively. Finally, the petroleum ether extract of P. americana had activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with an IC50 value of 8.7 µg/mL.
Conclusion
The study revealed the antibacterial and antiplasmodial activities of the plants extracts at the tested concentrations.
PMCID: PMC4202410  PMID: 25392594
Antifungal; Antibacterial; Persea americana; Picralima nitida; Jatropha podagrica; Plasmodium falciparum

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