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1.  Morinda citrifolia (Noni) Juice Augments Mammary Gland Differentiation and Reduces Mammary Tumor Growth in Mice Expressing the Unactivated c-erbB2 Transgene 
Morinda citrifolia (noni) is reported to have many beneficial properties, including on immune, inflammatory, quality of life, and cancer endpoints, but little is known about its ability to prevent or treat breast cancer. To test its anticancer potential, the effects of Tahitian Noni Juice (TNJ) on mammary carcinogenesis were examined in MMTV-neu transgenic mice. Mammary tumor latency, incidence, multiplicity, and metastatic incidence were unaffected by TNJ treatment, which suggests that it would not increase or decrease breast cancer risk in women taking TNJ for its other benefits. However, noni may be useful to enhance treatment responses in women with existing HER2/neu breast cancer since TNJ resulted in significant reductions in tumor weight and volume and in longer tumor doubling times in mice. Remarkably, its ability to inhibit the growth of this aggressive form of cancer occurred with the mouse equivalent of a recommended dose for humans (<3 oz/day). A 30-day treatment with TNJ also induced significant changes in mammary secondary ductule branching and lobuloalveolar development, serum progesterone levels, and estrous cycling. Additional studies investigating TNJ-induced tumor growth suppression and modified reproductive responses are needed to characterize its potential as a CAM therapy for women with and without HER2+ breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3351229  PMID: 22619689
2.  Noni (Morinda citrifolia Linn.) fruit juice attenuates the rewarding effect of ethanol in conditioned place preference in mice 
Experimental Animals  2016;65(4):437-445.
Morinda citrifolia L. commonly known as noni or Indian mulberry belongs to the family Rubiaceae. Noni fruit juice has recently become a very popular remedy for the treatment of several diseases, including psychiatric disorders. This study aimed to investigate the anticraving effect of Tahitian Noni® Juice (TNJ) against ethanol seeking behavior in ICR male mice using the conditioned place preference (CPP) test. The CPP procedure consisted of four phases: preconditioning, conditioning, extinction, and reinstatement. During conditioning, intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of ethanol (2 g/kg body weight (bw)) and normal saline (10 ml/kg bw) were given on alternate days for 12 days. Then, the animals were subjected to extinction trials for the next 12 days to weaken CPP. Finally, CPP was reinstated in the extinguished animals by a single low-dose priming injection of ethanol (0.4 g/kg bw, i.p.). The effect of TNJ (as a source of drinking water) on different phases of ethanol CPP in mice was studied. TNJ-treated mice showed a significant reduction in ethanol seeking behavior in the CPP test. The reference drug, acamprosate (ACAM) also showed a similar effect in the CPP test. The outcome of this study suggests that TNJ is effective in attenuating ethanol craving in mice and could be utilized for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Further clinical studies in this direction are warranted to support the present preclinical findings.
PMCID: PMC5111847  PMID: 27333840
acamprosate; alcohol; conditioned place preference; dependence; noni juice
3.  Morinda citrifolia Linn. Reduces Parasite Load and Modulates Cytokines and Extracellular Matrix Proteins in C57BL/6 Mice Infected with Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis 
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases  2016;10(8):e0004900.
The absence of an effective vaccine and the debilitating chemotherapy for Leishmaniasis demonstrate the need for developing alternative treatments. Several studies conducted with Morinda citrifolia have shown various biological activities, including antileishmanial activity, however its mechanisms of action are unknown. This study aimed to analyze the in vivo activity of M. citrifolia fruit juice (Noni) against Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis in C57BL/6 mice. M. citrifolia fruit juice from the Brazilian Amazon has shown the same constitution of other juices produced around the world and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis identified five compounds: deacetylasperulosidic acid, asperulosidic acid, rutin, nonioside B and nonioside C. Daily intragastric treatment with Noni was carried out after 55 days of L. (L.) amazonensis infection in C57BL/6 mice. Parasitic loads, cytokine and extracellular protein matrix expressions of the lesion site were analyzed by qPCR. Histopathology of the lesion site, lymph nodes and liver were performed to evaluate the inflammatory processes. Cytokines and biochemical parameters of toxicity from sera were also evaluated. The Noni treatment at 500 for 60 days decreased the lesion size and parasitic load in the footpad infected with L. (L.) amazonensis. The site of infection also showed decreased inflammatory infiltrates and decreased cytokine expressions for IL-12, TNF-α, TGF-β and IL-10. On the other hand, Noni treatment enhanced the extracellular matrix protein expressions of collagen IV, fibronectin and laminin in the infected footpad as well collagen I and II, fibronectin and laminin in the mock-infected footpads. No toxicity was observed at the end of treatment. These data show the efficacy of Noni treatment.
Author Summary
Leishmaniasis is a complex of diseases caused by parasites of the Leishmania genus, which affects thousands of people around the world. The parasite lives within the cells and the disease manifests itself in different ways, one of them is wound-like lesions on the skin that do not heal. The treatment, with a medicament discovered in 1912, causes several side effects, its intramuscular administration is painful and it is given daily over a long period of time. These characteristics show the need for new alternatives for leishmaniasis treatment justifying works like this. The Morinda citrifolia is a plant native to the Polynesian islands and has a fruit commonly known as Noni. Noni has been analyzed for various targets such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects; however, the antileishmanial has not yet been fully evaluated. This work proves that Noni treatment can promote a fast clinical cure in mice with leishmaniasis by decreasing parasite number, acting on the immune system and repairing skin components.
PMCID: PMC5006983  PMID: 27579922
4.  Effect of Morinda citrifolia (Noni) Fruit Juice on High Fat Diet Induced Dyslipidemia in Rats 
The medicinal value of Morinda citrifolia L. (commonly known as Noni) has been explored in ancient folk remedies with a wide range of therapeutic utility, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antitumour, analgesic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing effects.
The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of Noni fruit juice on serum lipid profile in high fat diet induced murine model of dyslipidemia.
Materials and Methods
Hyperlipidemia was induced by feeding a cholesterol rich high fat diet for 45 days in wistar albino rats of either sex (n=8). Noni fruit juice administered at 50mg/kg/day and 100mg/kg/day, per oral, was compared with the standard drug Atorvastatin (10mg/kg/day, oral) fed for the latter 30 days. The blood samples were then sent for complete blood lipid profile, after 30 days of treatment. The data presented as mean ± SEM was analyzed using one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey’s post-hoc test. The p <0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
The Noni fruit juice treated group showed a significant decrease in the total cholesterol, triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein - Cholesterol at both the doses when compared to the disease control (p<0.05). However, the decrease in the TC (102.75±9.79 mg/dL) and LDL-C (47.87±7.47 mg/dL) levels observed with the noni fruit juice at the 50mg/kg dose employed, failed to show a statistical significance when compared to atorvastatin.
The present study provides evidence for the hypolipidemic activity of Noni fruit juice in high fat diet induced hyperlipidemia in rats.
PMCID: PMC4866125  PMID: 27190827
Hypolipidemic activity; High density lipoprotein; Low density lipoprotein; Noni fruit; Plasma lipids; Total cholesterol; Very Low density lipoprotein
5.  Antioxidant activity of noni juice in heavy smokers 
Noni (Morinda citrifolia) juice has demonstrated antioxidant activity in vitro and in vivo. To evaluate this activity in humans, noni juice from Tahiti (TNJ) was evaluated in a 30 day, double-blind, and placebo controlled clinical trial with 285 current heavy smokers. Research participants were randomly assigned to three daily treatment groups: 118 mL placebo, 29.5 mL TNJ, and 118 mL TNJ. Plasma superoxide anion radicals (SAR) and lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) levels were measured pre and post-intervention.
After 30 days, mean SAR decreased from 0.26 ± 0.14 to 0.19 ± 0.10 μmol/mL in the 29.5 mL dose group (P < 0.01) and from 0.26 ± 0.22 to 0.18 ± 0.11 μmol/mL in the 118 mL dose group (P < 0.001). LOOH levels decreased from 0.53 ± 0.19 to 0.40 ± 0.10 μmol/mL in the 29.5 mL dose group (P < 0.001) and from 0.55 ± 0.21 to 0.40 ± 0.14 μmol/mL in the 118 mL dose group (P < 0.001). No significant reductions in SAR or LOOH levels were observed in the placebo group.
The results suggest an antioxidant activity from noni juice in humans exposed to tobacco smoke, thereby replicating the results found previous chemical and in vivo tests.
PMCID: PMC2765950  PMID: 19807926
6.  Noni Juice Improves Serum Lipid Profiles and Other Risk Markers in Cigarette Smokers 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:594657.
Cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress leads to dyslipidemia and systemic inflammation. Morinda citrifolia (noni) fruit juice has been found previously to have a significant antioxidant activity. One hundred thirty-two adult heavy smokers completed a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to investigate the effect of noni juice on serum cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and homocysteine. Volunteers drank noni juice or a fruit juice placebo daily for one month. Drinking 29.5 mL to 188 mL of noni juice per day significantly reduced cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and hs-CRP. Decreases in LDL and homocysteine, as well increases in HDL, were also observed among noni juice drinkers. The placebo, which was devoid of iridoid glycosides, did not significantly influence blood lipid profiles or hs-CRP. Noni juice was able to mitigate cigarette smoke-induced dyslipidemia, an activity associated with the presence of iridoids.
PMCID: PMC3477557  PMID: 23097636
7.  Methanolic Extract of Morinda citrifolia L. (Noni) Unripe Fruit Attenuates Ethanol-Induced Conditioned Place Preferences in Mice 
Phytotherapy is an emerging field successfully utilized to treat various chronic diseases including alcohol dependence. In the present study, we examined the effect of the standardized methanolic extract of Morinda citrifolia Linn. unripe fruit (MMC), on compulsive ethanol-seeking behavior using the mouse conditioned place preference (CPP) test. CPP was established by injections of ethanol (2 g/kg, i.p.) in a 12-day conditioning schedule in mice. The effect of MMC and the reference drug, acamprosate (ACAM), on the reinforcing properties of ethanol in mice was studied by the oral administration of MMC (1, 3, and 5 g/kg) and ACAM (300 mg/kg) 60 min prior to the final CPP test postconditioning. Furthermore, CPPs weakened with repeated testing in the absence of ethanol over the next 12 days (extinction), during which the treatment groups received MMC (1, 3, and 5 g/kg, p.o.) or ACAM (300 mg/kg, p.o.). Finally, a priming injection of a low dose of ethanol (0.4 g/kg, i.p.) in the home cage (Reinstatement) was sufficient to reinstate CPPs, an effect that was challenged by the administration of MMC or ACAM. MMC (3 and 5 g/kg, p.o.) and ACAM (300 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly reversed the establishment of ethanol-induced CPPs and effectively facilitated the extinction of ethanol CPP. In light of these findings, it has been suggested that M. citrifolia unripe fruit could be utilized for novel drug development to combat alcohol dependence.
PMCID: PMC5037239  PMID: 27729866
Morinda citrifolia; ethanol; conditioned place preference; dependence; extinction; reinstatement
8.  In Vivo Antioxidant Activity of Deacetylasperulosidic Acid in Noni 
Deacetylasperulosidic acid (DAA) is a major phytochemical constituent of Morinda citrifolia (noni) fruit. Noni juice has demonstrated antioxidant activity in vivo and in human trials. To evaluate the role of DAA in this antioxidant activity, Wistar rats were fed 0 (control group), 15, 30, or 60 mg/kg body weight per day for 7 days. Afterwards, serum malondialdehyde concentration and superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities were measured and compared among groups. A dose-dependent reduction in malondialdehyde was evident as well as a dose-dependent increase in superoxide dismutase activity. DAA ingestion did not influence serum glutathione peroxidase activity. These results suggest that DAA contributes to the antioxidant activity of noni juice by increasing superoxide dismutase activity. The fact that malondialdehyde concentrations declined with increased DAA dose, despite the lack of glutathione peroxidase-inducing activity, suggests that DAA may also increase catalase activity. It has been previously reported that noni juice increases catalase activity in vivo but additional research is required to confirm the effect of DAA on catalase. Even so, the current findings do explain a possible mechanism of action for the antioxidant properties of noni juice that have been observed in human clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC3859119  PMID: 24371540
9.  Evaluation of the Wound-healing Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Morinda citrifolia L. Leaf 
Morinda citrifolia L. (noni) is one of the most important traditional Polynesian medicinal plants. The primary indigenous use of this plant appears to be of the leaves, as a topical treatment for wound healing. The ethanol extract of noni leaves (150 mg kg−1 day−1) was used to evaluate the wound-healing activity on rats, using excision and dead space wound models. Animals were randomly divided into two groups of six for each model. Test group animals in each model were treated with the ethanol extract of noni orally by mixing in drinking water and the control group animals were maintained with plain drinking water. Healing was assessed by the rate of wound contraction, time until complete epithelialization, granulation tissue weight and hydoxyproline content. On day 11, the extract-treated animals exhibited 71% reduction in the wound area when compared with controls which exhibited 57%. The granulation tissue weight and hydroxyproline content in the dead space wounds were also increased significantly in noni-treated animals compared with controls (P < 0.002). Enhanced wound contraction, decreased epithelialization time, increased hydroxyproline content and histological characteristics suggest that noni leaf extract may have therapeutic benefits in wound healing.
PMCID: PMC2722214  PMID: 18955257
excision and dead space wound; hydroxyproline; Morinda citrifolia; wound healing
10.  Polysaccharide-Rich Fraction of Noni Fruit (Morinda citrifolia L.) as Doxorubicin Co-Chemotherapy: Evaluation of Catalase, Macrophages, and TCD8+ Lymphocytes 
Scientia Pharmaceutica  2015;83(3):479-488.
Noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia L.) has been acknowledged for its cytotoxic and immunostimulatory activity. Our previous results on the immunomodulatory effect of a noni juice polysaccharide-rich fraction encouraged this research to evaluate the potency of the polysaccharide-rich fraction as co-chemotherapy with doxorubicin (DOX) administration. Macrophage activity (MA) was evaluated with the latex bead method. The phagocytic index (PI) was measured as the number of latex beads ingested by 100 macrophages, while the phagocytosis ratio (PR) was indicated by the percentage of macrophages that ingested three or more latex beads. The CEC was evaluated by using a commercial assay kit, while CD8+ T lymphocyte proliferation was evaluated using a flowcytometry method following in vivo administration. Thirty male Wistar rats were divided into five groups (n = 6 each). The control group received DOX via i.p. at a concentration of 4.67 mg/kg BW on days 1 and 4; four treatment groups received PF p.o. at a concentration of 25; 50; 100; 200 mg/kg BW daily, respectively, and additionally DOX i.p. 4.67 mg/kg BW (days 1 and 4) for 7 days. The phagocytic activity was not affected significantly by PF administration compared to the Dox control, but PF administration at a dose of 25 and 50 mg/kg BW has been proven to increase TCD8+ cell proliferation in combination with DOX. The catalase concentration, on the other hand, significantly decreased following PF administration at a dose of 100 mg/kg BW. The results suggest that the polysaccharide-rich fraction of noni juice might induce immunomodulatory effects via TCD8+ activation, have antioxidant activity, and thus might be a potential candidate to be used as an adjuvant to DOX chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4727763  PMID: 26839832
Polysaccharides; Noni fruit juice; Co-chemotherapy; Doxorubicin
11.  Morinda citrifolia L. fruit extracts modulates H2O2-induced oxidative stress in human liposarcoma SW872 cells 
Morinda citrifolia L. commonly known as noni is used by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries due to the plethora of pharmacological activities of its metabolites. In Mauritius, the fruits of M. citrifolia are used in folk medicine against a number of indications. The present study aimed at evaluating the antioxidant activity of ripe and unripe noni fruit at both biochemical and cellular levels. Using an array of established assay systems, the fruit antioxidant propensity was assessed in terms of its radical scavenging, iron reducing and metal chelating potentials. Ascorbic acid, total phenolic and total flavonoid contents of the fruits were also determined. The ascorbic acid content of ripe noni was 76.24 ± 1.13 mg/100 g while total phenolics of ripe and unripe fruit extracts were 748.40 ± 8.85 μg and 770.34 ± 2.27 μg GAE g−1 FW respectively. Both the ripe and unripe extracts of M. citrifolia were potent scavengers of nitric oxide, superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. The ferric reducing capacity ranged from 11.26 ± 0.33 to 11.90 ± 0.20 mM Fe2+ g−1 FW while the IC50 values for the iron (II) chelating power were 0.50 ± 0.01 and 1.74 ± 0.01 g FW/mL for the ripe and unripe fruit extracts respectively. Cellular studies additionally demonstrated that noni were able to dose-dependently counteract accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced oxidative stress, a potential obesogenic factor within human liposarcoma SW872 cells as well as significantly restore cell death within the concentration range of 0.106–0.813 g/mL. Results reported herein suggest noni as an interesting source of prophylactic antioxidants modulated by its polyphenol composition.
Graphical abstract
PMCID: PMC4936763  PMID: 27419097
Antioxidant activity; Folk medicine; Morinda citrifolia; Oxidative stress; Polyphenolics
12.  Noni juice is not hepatotoxic 
Noni juice (Morinda citrifolia) has been approved for use as a safe food within the European Union, following a review of safety. Since approval, three cases of acute hepatitis in Austrian noni juice consumers have been published, where a causal link is suggested between the liver dysfunction and ingestion of anthraquinones from the plant. Measurements of liver function in a human clinical safety study of TAHITIAN NONI® Juice, as well as subacute and subchronic animal toxicity tests revealed no evidence of adverse liver effects at doses many times higher than those reported in the case studies. Additionally, M. citrifolia anthraquinones occur in the fruit in quantities too small to be of any toxicological significance. Further, these do not have chemical structures capable of being reduced to reactive anthrone radicals, which were implicated in previous cases of herbal hepototoxicity. The available data reveals no evidence of liver toxicity.
PMCID: PMC4087581  PMID: 16773722
Noni juice; Morinda citrifolia; Novel food; Human clinical safety study
13.  Anti-allergic activity of the Morinda citrifolia extract and its constituents 
Pharmacognosy Research  2014;6(3):260-265.
Morinda citrifolia (Rubiaceae), commonly known as noni is distributed throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Anti-allergic effects of noni have not been reported despite the clinical usage as an anti-allergic agent.
Materials and Methods:
To investigate the anti-allergic effects of the 50% ethanolic extract of M. citrifolia fruits and leaves (MCF-ext and MCL-ext), dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB)-induced triphasic cutaneous reaction and picryl chloride-induced contact dermatitis (PC-CD) tests were performed.
In DNFB-induced triphasic cutaneous reaction, oral administration of MCF-ext and MCL-ext exhibited dose-dependent inhibition of cutaneous reaction at 1 h (immediate phase response) after the DNFB challenge. MCF-ext also inhibited ear swelling at 24 h (late phase response) and 8 days (very late phase response) after the DNFB challenge. The effect of MCL-ext on the immediate phase response was attributed to the anti-degranulation from RBL-2H3 cells, while MCF-ext had no significant effect on degranulation. The active components of anti-degranulation activity in MCL-ext were determined to be ursolic acid, rutin and kaempferol-3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→6)-β-D-glucopyranoside. In the PC-CD test, both MCF-ext and MCL-ext showed an anti-swelling effect but the potency of MCF-ext was stronger than MCL-ext.
These data suggest that noni fruits and leaves can be a daily consumable material for the prevention of allergic symptoms.
PMCID: PMC4080509  PMID: 25002809
Allergy; contact dermatitis; degranulation; IgE-mediated triphasic cutaneous reaction; Morinda citrifolia
14.  Hepatotoxicity of NONI juice: Report of two cases 
AIM: NONI juice (Morinda citrifolia) is an increasingly popular wellness drink claimed to be beneficial for many illnesses. No overt toxicity has been reported to date. We present two cases of novel hepatotoxicity of NONI juice. Causality of liver injury by NONI juice was asses-sed. Routine laboratory tests and transjugular or percutaneous liver biopsy were performed. The first patient underwent successful liver transplantation while the second patient recovered spontaneously after cessation of NONI juice. A 29-year-old man with previous toxic hepatitis associated with small doses of paracetamol developed sub-acute hepatic failure following consumption of 1.5 L NONI juice over 3 wk necessitating urgent liver transplantation. A 62-year-old woman without evidence of previous liver disease developed an episode of self-limited acute hepatitis following consumption of 2 L NONI juice for over 3 mo. The most likely hepatotoxic components of Morinda citrifolia were anthraquinones. Physicians should be aware of potential hepatotoxicity of NONI juice.
PMCID: PMC4615426  PMID: 16094725
Herbal hepatotoxicity; Drug-induced hepatitis; NONI juice; Acute liver failure
15.  A comparison of motor behaviours in groups of rats distinguished by their climbing response to apomorphine. 
British Journal of Pharmacology  1986;87(1):129-137.
Administration of apomorphine hydrochloride (0.5 mg kg-1 s.c.) to adult male or female Wistar rats previously acclimatized to the test environment induced climbing behaviour in approximately 50% of animals examined. The proportion of animals climbing was related to age, being maximal at 8-9 weeks. Those animals showing an initial climbing response to apomorphine (0.5 mg kg-1 s.c.), climbed when challenged with this dose of apomorphine on subsequent occasions. In 'climbing' animals the intensity of response was related to the dose of apomorphine administered; no dose-response relationship was observed in 'non-climbing' animals. No overall differences in the spontaneous motor behaviour of 'climbing' and 'non-climbing' animals were apparent as assessed by measurement of spontaneous climbing behaviour, by holeboard activity, and by locomotor activity measured in either photocell cages or in a treadwheel. There was no overall difference in the ability of apomorphine to induce locomotor activity or stereotyped behaviour in 'climbing' and 'non-climbing' animals. However, the administration of apomorphine induced rearing and treadwheel activity only in those animals classified as 'climbers'. There was no difference between the number (Bmax) of specific [3H]-spiperone binding sites or the dissociation constant (KD) in striatal or mesolimbic tissue preparations for 'climbing' and 'non-climbing' rats. The ability of an animal to climb in response to apomorphine appears to be dependent on an ability to orient vertically, since this is a component of behaviour common to climbing, rearing, and treadwheel activity. The ability to climb does not appear to be related to differences in dopamine receptor numbers in brain or to the penetration of apomorphine into brain.
PMCID: PMC1916888  PMID: 3955297
16.  Ultrastructural Changes and Death of Leishmania infantum Promastigotes Induced by Morinda citrifolia Linn. Fruit (Noni) Juice Treatment 
The search for new treatments against leishmaniasis has increased due to high frequency of drug resistance registered in endemics areas, side effects, and complications caused by coinfection with HIV. Morinda citrifolia Linn., commonly known as Noni, has a rich chemical composition and various therapeutic effects have been described in the literature. Studies have shown the leishmanicidal activity of M. citrifolia; however, its action on the parasite has not yet been elucidated. In this work, we analyzed leishmanicidal activity and ultrastructural changes in Leishmania infantum promastigotes caused by M. citrifolia fruit juice treatment. M. citrifolia fruit extract showed a yield of 6.31% and high performance liquid chromatography identified phenolic and aromatic compounds as the major constituents. IC50 values were 260.5 µg/mL for promastigotes and 201.3 µg/mL for intracellular amastigotes of L. infantum treated with M. citrifolia. Cytotoxicity assay with J774.G8 macrophages showed that M. citrifolia fruit juice was not toxic up to 2 mg/mL. Transmission electron microscopy showed cytoplasmic vacuolization, lipid inclusion, increased exocytosis activity, and autophagosome-like vesicles in L. infantum promastigotes treated with M. citrifolia fruit juice. M. citrifolia fruit juice was active against L. infantum in the in vitro model used here causing ultrastructural changes and has a future potential for treatment against leishmaniasis.
PMCID: PMC4893439  PMID: 27313649
17.  Antiepileptic and antipsychotic activities of standardized Śilājatu (Shilajit) in experimental animals 
Ancient Science of Life  2015;35(2):110-117.
Śilājatu (Shilajit; SJ) is claimed in traditional Indian medical practice to be useful in the treatment of nervous disorders, epilepsy and as antistress.
To investigate whether SJ possesses antiepileptic and antipsychotic activities in rodents.
Materials and Methods:
Isonicotinyl hydrazine (INH), pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), apomorphine, phenytoin, diazepam, haloperidol and other chemicals of analytical grade were procured from standard companies. The antiepileptic activity of SJ was assessed using maximal electro shock (MES)-induced seizures in rats, INH and PTZ-induced seizures in mice. The antipsychotic effect of SJ was evaluated using apomorphine-induced climbing and stereotyped behaviours respectively, in mice and rats.
Settings and Designs:
SJ (25 and 50 mg/kg, p.o.) was given orally once daily for 15 days in all the rodent models. On the test day, SJ was administered 1 h prior to electric shock or chemical inducers (INH/PTZ/apomorphine) in experimental animals; the animals were then observed for different phases of seizures and psychotic behaviours. In addition, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) content in the brain of rats and mice was estimated in seizure models.
Statistical Analysis:
The data were expressed as mean ± standard error of mean. Statistical comparisons were performed by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey's post-test using Graph Pad Prism version 5.0, USA. A P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results and Conclusions:
SJ pretreatment significantly inhibited the seizures induced by MES, INH and PTZ in a dose dependent manner. Further, SJ augmented brain GABA levels to normal, decreased by INH and PTZ in mice brain. SJ pretreatment also significantly inhibited the climbing and stereotyped behaviours induced by apomorphine. The present data seems to confirm the antiepileptic activity of SJ which may be because of enhancing the GABAergic system. The antipsychotic activity observed may be due to anti-dopaminergic and/or GABA-mimetic actions.
PMCID: PMC4728862  PMID: 26865744
Dopamine; fulvic acid; GABA; humic acid; seizures
18.  Morinda citrifolia L. (noni) and memantine attenuate periventricular tissue injury of the fourth ventricle in hydrocephalic rabbits☆ 
Neural Regeneration Research  2013;8(9):773-782.
This study was designed to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of Morinda citrifolia L. (Rubiaceae), commonly known as noni, and memantine (a N-methy-D-aspartate receptor inhibitor) on hydrocephalus-induced neurodegenerative disorders. Kaolin was injected into the cistern magna of male adult New Zealand rabbits to establish a hydrocephalus animal model. Memantine (20 mg/kg, intraperitoneally; memantine-treated group) or noni (5 mL/kg, intragastrically; noni-treated group) was administered daily for 2 weeks. Microtubule-associated protein-2 and caspase-3 immunohistochemistry were performed to detect neuronal degeneration and apoptosis in the periventricular tissue of the fourth ventricle of rabbits. Microtubule-associated protein-2 staining density was significantly decreased in the hydrocephalic group, while the staining density was significantly increased in the memantine- and noni-treated groups, especially in the noni-treated group. Noni treatment decreased the number of caspase-3-positive cells in rabbits with hydrocephalus, while memantine had no effect. These findings suggest that noni exhibits more obvious inhibitory effects on hydrocephalus-induced neurodegenerative disorders than memantine in periventricular tissue of the fourth ventricle.
PMCID: PMC4146082  PMID: 25206724
neural regeneration; neurodegenerative disease; traditional Chinese medicine; hydrocephalus; Morinda citrifolia L. (noni); memantine; fourth ventricle; periventricular tissue; microtubule-associated protein-2; caspase-3; apoptosis; grants-supported paper; photographs-containing paper; neuroregeneration
19.  Anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic activities of aqueous extract of Morinda citrifolia fruit 
Morinda citrifolia (Indian mulberry or noni) fruit has been long used as a folk medicine for a wide range of health purposes as it is claimed to have analgesic, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifier, and cell-rejuvenator properties. A recent study has revealed central nervous system suppressant nature of its extract. Hence, the present study has evaluated the anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic effects of the aqueous extracts of Morinda citrifolia in rodents in comparison to diazepam. Anxiety was assessed by ‘Isolation-induced aggression’ model, sedation by ‘Spontaneous locomotor activity using actophotometer’ and hypnotic activity by ‘Prolongation of ketamine-induced sleeping time’. Six male mice were used for each of the groups and postdose, all the six that received diazepam had shown an inhibition of aggression, whereas in the test group, five of six mice and none in the control group had shown an inhibition of aggression (P = 0.0007). Similarly, for the sedative activity, the total number of spontaneous locomotor activity at 30 min following drug administration was found to be 364.67 ± 10.74, 123.16 ± 8.33, and 196.67 ± 3.7, while at 60 min it was found to be 209 ± 12.98, 49 ± 5.78, and 92 ± 2.5 (mean ± SD) for the control, standard, and test groups of mice respectively (P < 0.001). Hypnotic activity was measured by prolongation of ketamine-induced sleeping time wherein the onset and duration of loss of righting reflex were compared among each group of mice. The time in minutes for the onset in control, standard, and test groups was 4.01 ± 0.22, 1.23 ± 0.05, and 2.23 ± 0.07, respectively. The duration of loss of righting reflex was 44.23 ± 0.59, 56.03 ± 1.34, and 50.57 ± 0.36, respectively. Both these were statistically significant (P < 0.001). However, more clinical studies are needed to assess the long-term effects of the extract in humans.
PMCID: PMC4061592  PMID: 24948855
Herb; noni; sleep
20.  Odorant-Binding Proteins OBP57d and OBP57e Affect Taste Perception and Host-Plant Preference in Drosophila sechellia  
PLoS Biology  2007;5(5):e118.
Despite its morphological similarity to the other species in the Drosophila melanogaster species complex, D. sechellia has evolved distinct physiological and behavioral adaptations to its host plant Morinda citrifolia, commonly known as Tahitian Noni. The odor of the ripe fruit of M. citrifolia originates from hexanoic and octanoic acid. D. sechellia is attracted to these two fatty acids, whereas the other species in the complex are repelled. Here, using interspecies hybrids between D. melanogaster deficiency mutants and D. sechellia, we showed that the Odorant-binding protein 57e (Obp57e) gene is involved in the behavioral difference between the species. D. melanogaster knock-out flies for Obp57e and Obp57d showed altered behavioral responses to hexanoic acid and octanoic acid. Furthermore, the introduction of Obp57d and Obp57e from D. simulans and D. sechellia shifted the oviposition site preference of D. melanogaster Obp57d/eKO flies to that of the original species, confirming the contribution of these genes to D. sechellia's specialization to M. citrifolia. Our finding of the genes involved in host-plant determination may lead to further understanding of mechanisms underlying taste perception, evolution of plant–herbivore interactions, and speciation.
Author Summary
Most herbivorous insects specialize on one or a few host plants; understanding the processes and genetics underlying this specialization has broad implications across biology. Drosophila sechellia, a fruit fly endemic to the Seychelles, feeds exclusively on the ripe fruit of Morinda citrifolia, a tropical plant commonly known as Tahitian Noni. Although other fruit flies never approach this fruit because of its toxins, D. sechellia is resistant and is actually attracted by the same toxins. D. sechellia is a close relative of D. melanogaster, an established model species of genetics. By comparing D. melanogaster and D. sechellia, we revealed that two genes encoding odorant-binding proteins, Obp57d and Obp57e, are not only involved in the fruit fly's taste perception, but can also change the behavioral response of the flies to the toxins contained in the fruit. By knowing how an insect's food preference is determined by its genes, we can gain insight into how insect lifestyles evolve and investigate whether such changes can lead to the formation of new species. We can also begin to understand how to manipulate insects' behavior by changing their preference for particular substances.
Hybrids ofDrosophila melanogaster mutants andD. sechellia reveal genes involved in the behavioral difference that makessechellia specialized to its host plant, with implications for understanding plant-herbivore interactions and speciation
PMCID: PMC1854911  PMID: 17456006
21.  Ethnoveterinary Application of Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Puree on a Commercial Heifer Rearing Facility with Endemic Salmonellosis 
We have previously reported that Morinda citrifolia (noni) puree modulates neonatal calves developmental maturation of the innate and adaptive immune system. In this study, the effect of noni puree on respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI), health in preweaned dairy calves on a farm with endemic salmonellosis was examined. Two clinical trials were conducted whereby each trial evaluated one processing technique of noni puree. Trials 1 and 2 tested noni versions A and B, respectively. Puree analysis and trial methods were identical to each other, with the calf as the experimental unit. Calves were designated to 1 of 3 treatment groups in each trial and received either: 0, 15 or 30 mL every 12 hr of noni supplement for the first 3 weeks of life. Health scores, weaning age, weight gain from admission to weaning, and weaned by 6 weeks, were used as clinical endpoints for statistical analysis. In trial 1, calves supplemented with 15 mL noni puree of version A every 12 hr had a higher probability of being weaned by 6 weeks of age than control calves (P = 0.04). In trial 2, calves receiving 30 mL of version B every 12 hr had a 54.5% reduction in total medical treatments by 42 days of age when compared to controls (P = 0.02). There was a trend in reduced respiratory (61%), and GI (52%) medical treatments per calf when compared to controls (P = 0.06 and 0.08, respectively). There were no differences in weight gain or mortality for any treatment group in either trial.
PMCID: PMC3746350  PMID: 24082318
Morinda citrifolia; natural products; neonatal calf; noni; dairy
22.  Liver Protective Effects of Morinda citrifolia (Noni) 
This study evaluated the protective effects of Noni fruit juice on acute liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Liver damage (micro-centrilobular necrosis) was observed in animals pretreated with 20% placebo (drinking water) + CCl4. However, pretreatment with 20% Noni juice in drinking water + CCl4 resulted in markedly decreased hepatotoxic lesions. Furthermore, serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were significantly lower in the Noni group than the placebo group. In a correlative time-dependent study, one dose of CCl4 (0.25 mL/kg in corn oil, p.o.) in female SD rats, pretreated with 10% placebo for 12 days, caused sequential progressive hepatotoxic lesions over a 24 h period, while a protective effect from 10% Noni juice pretreatment was observed. These results suggest that Noni juice is effective in protecting the liver from extrinsic toxin exposure.
PMCID: PMC2413119  PMID: 18317933
Morinda citrifolia; Noni; Liver protection; Carbon tetrachloride
23.  Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) fruit extract attenuates the rewarding effect of heroin in conditioned place preference but not withdrawal in rodents 
Experimental Animals  2016;65(2):157-164.
The present study was designed to investigate the effect of a methanolic extract of Morinda citrifolia Linn. fruit (MMC) on the rewarding effect of heroin in the rat conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm and naloxone-precipitated withdrawal in mice. In the first experiment, following a baseline preference test (preconditioning score), the rats were subjected to conditioning trials with five counterbalanced escalating doses of heroin versus saline followed by a preference test conducted under drug-free conditions (post-conditioning score) using the CPP test. Meanwhile, in the second experiment, withdrawal jumping was precipitated by naloxone administration after heroin dependence was induced by escalating doses for 6 days (3×/ day). The CPP test results revealed that acute administration of MMC (1, 3, and 5 g/kg body weight (bw), p.o.), 1 h prior to the CPP test on the 12th day significantly reversed the heroin-seeking behavior in a dose-dependent manner, which was similar to the results observed with a reference drug, methadone (3 mg/kg bw, p.o.). On the other hand, MMC (0.5, 1, and 3 g/kg bw, p.o.) did not attenuate the heroin withdrawal jumps precipitated by naloxone. These findings suggest that the mechanism by which MMC inhibits the rewarding effect of heroin is distinct from naloxone-precipitated heroin withdrawal.
PMCID: PMC4873484  PMID: 26744024
conditioned place preference; heroin; naloxone; noni fruit; precipitated withdrawal
24.  Mitragyna speciosa Leaf Extract Exhibits Antipsychotic-Like Effect with the Potential to Alleviate Positive and Negative Symptoms of Psychosis in Mice 
In this study, we investigated the antipsychotic-like effect of methanolic extract of Mitragyna speciosa leaf (MMS) using in vivo and ex vivo studies. In vivo studies comprised of apomorphine-induced climbing behavior, haloperidol-induced catalepsy, and ketamine-induced social withdrawal tests in mice whereas the ex vivo study was conducted utilizing isolated rat vas deferens preparation. Acute oral administration of MMS (50–500 mg/kg) showed an inverted bell-shaped dose-response in apomorphine-induced cage climbing behavior in mice. The effective inhibitory doses of MMS (75 and 100 mg/kg, p.o.) obtained from the apomorphine study was further tested on haloperidol (subcataleptic dose; 0.1 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced catalepsy in the mouse bar test. MMS (75 and 100 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly potentiated the haloperidol-induced catalepsy in mice. Interestingly, MMS at the same effective doses (75 and 100 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly facilitated the social interaction in ketamine-induced social withdrawal mice. Furthermore, MMS inhibited the dopamine-induced contractile response dose-dependently in the isolated rat vas deferens preparations. In conclusion, this investigation provides first evidence that MMS exhibits antipsychotic-like activity with potential to alleviate positive as well as negative symptoms of psychosis in mice. This study also suggests the antidopaminergic activity of MMS that could be responsible for alleviating positive symptoms of psychosis.
PMCID: PMC5138496  PMID: 27999544
apomorphine; bar test; climbing behavior; haloperidol; ketamine; Mitragyna speciosa; social withdrawal; vas deferens
25.  Assessment of the Role of Noni (Morinda citrifolia) Juice for Inducing Osteoblast Differentiation in Isolated Rat Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
Background and Objectives
Morinda citrifolia (Noni), an important traditional medicinal plant still used in patients with bone fractures or dislocation to promote connective tissue repair and to reduce inflammation. However, the effects of Noni on bone metabolism and whether it influences the osteogenic differentiation is yet to be clarified. In this study, we investigated the effect of Morinda citrifolia (Noni) juice on the proliferation rate of rat bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC) and the osteoblastic differentiation as shown by alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) and osteocalcin (OCN) mRNA expression in vitro.
Methods and Results
Treatment with 200 μg/ml Noni juice enhanced the proliferation rate of the BMSC and also upregulated the osteogenic differentiation marker genes ALP and OCN, and Runx2 measured by RTPCR. Consistent with these results collagen scaffolds implanted in vivo, which were loaded with BMSC pre-exposed to Noni, showed increased bone density measured by computed tomography and histological analysis revealed neo-angiogenesis for bone formation.
These results suggest that Noni stimulates osteoblastogenesis and can be used as adjuvant natural medicine for bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC5155718  PMID: 27572713
Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells; Morinda citrifolia; Alkaline phosphatase; Runt-related transcription factor 2; Osteocalcin

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