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26.  Antimicrobial and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Pleurostylia Capensis Turcz (Loes) (Celastraceae) 
Background
Pleurostylia capensis is a large tree that can reach the maximum height of 20 m long, and it have been traditionally used as cosmetic, for steam bath, ritual body wash, and as a purgative to treat symptoms of witchcraft. Using ethanol, chloroform, dichloromethane (DCM), ethyl acetate (EA), and water extracts, leaves, bark and roots of Pleurostylia capensis were investigated scientifically for their effectiveness in antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities using standard methods
Materials and Methods
The extracts were evaluated for antimicrobial activity against Gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Mycobacterium smegmatis), Gram negative (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Klebsiella oxytoca, Streptococcus pyogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella typhimurium), and Candida albicans. The antioxidant activity was investigated using 2, 2-diphenlyl-1-picrylhadrazyl (DPPH), free radical scavenging assay. The anti-inflammatory activity of P. capensis extracts was evaluated against both cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX 1 and 2).
Results
The ethyl acetate extracts of P. capensis showed a strong antimicrobial activity against B. cereus, K. pneumonia, S. pyogenes, and M. smegmatis with MIC value of 0.39 and 0.78 mg/ml. While the ethanol bark extract was most active against M. smegmatis with MIC value of 0.78 mg/ml; the least potent activity was observed with dichloromethane, chloroform and water extracts, with an MIC value ranging from 1.56 mg/ml to 50.0 mg/ml. The plant extracts proved to be good antioxidant agent, whereas extracts of ethanol were the most active, with IC50 ranging from 1.00 to 1.74 µg/ml, which is lower, and in close range to Vitamin C (1.40 µg/ml).
Conclusions
Its moderation to potent inhibitory activity was observed in all extracts. Ethanol and dichloromethane extracts were among the most potent when compared to water and petroleum ether extracts. The water extracts showed to be nontoxic on the Hek cell line with an IC50 value of 204.0, and 207.3 µg/ml (roots and bark) respectively. The dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, chloroform and ethanol extracts showed to be toxic on the Hek cell, with IC50 range from 5.94 to 42.91µg/ml. The results obtained indicate the effectiveness of these plants.
PMCID: PMC4202656  PMID: 25435632
Pleurostylia capensis (P.capensis); 2, 2-diphenlyl-1-picrylhadrazyl (DPPH); Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC); Minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC); Cyclooxygenase (COX)
27.  Restoration of Glutamine Synthetase Activity, Nitric Oxide Levels and Amelioration of Oxidative Stress by Propolis in Kainic Acid Mediated Excitotoxicity 
Background
Propolis has been proposed to be protective on neurodegenerative disorders. To understand the neuroprotective effects of honeybee propolis, glutamine synthetase (GS) activity, nitric oxide (NO), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and total antioxidant status (TAS) were studied in different brain regions-cerebral cortex (CC), cerebellum (CB) and brain stem (BS) of rats supplemented with propolis and subjected to kainic acid (KA) mediated excitotoxicity.
Materials and Methods
Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups; Control group and KA group received vehicle and saline. Propolis group and propolis + KA group were orally administered with propolis (150mg/kg body weight), five times every 12 hours. KA group and propolis + KA group were injected subcutaneously with kainic acid (15mg/kg body weight) and were sacrificed after 2 hrs and CC, CB and BS were separated homogenized and used for estimation of GS activity, NO, TBARS, and TAS concentrations by colorimetric methods. Results were analyzed by one-way ANOVA, reported as mean + SD from 6 animals, and p<0.05 considered statistically significant.
Results
NO was increased (p< 0.001) and GS activity was decreased (p< 0.001) in KA treated group compared to control group as well as propolis + KA treated group. TBARS was decreased and TAS was increased (p< 0.001) in propolis + KA treated group compared KA treated group.
Conclusion
This study clearly demonstrated the restoration of GS activity, NO levels and decreased oxidative stress by propolis in kainic acid mediated excitotoxicity. Hence the propolis can be a possible potential candidate (protective agent) against excitotoxicity and neurodegenerative disorders.
PMCID: PMC4202657  PMID: 25435633
Nitric oxide; Glutamine Synthetase; Oxidative Stress; Excitotoxicity; Propolis; Rat Brain
28.  Effect of Chronic Administration of Hexane Extract of Byrsonima Crassifolia Seed on B-Cell and Pancreatic Oxidative Parameters in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rat 
Background
In Mexican traditional medicine, the seeds of Byrsonima crassifolia have been used in the treatment of diabetes, rheumatism and for wound healing. The aim was to evaluate the effect of seeds of B. crassifolia on insulin release from the pancreatic beta cells in streptozotocininduced diabetic rats.
Materials and Methods
In the present study, we evaluated the beneficial effect of seeds B. crassifolia streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic rats. Insulin level; insulin sensitivity index, insulin content in pancreas, malonaldehyde, nitric oxide contents, oxidative stress parameters were assayed. Serum glucose levels were determined by the glucose oxidase method. To determine the insulin releasing activity, after extract treatment, the pancreas was excised. Pancreatic sections were processed for examination of insulin-releasing activity using an imunocytochemistry kit.
Results
Administration of the hexane extract (200 and 400 mg/kg), exhibited a significant reduction in serum glucose. Administration of streptozotocin decreased the number of beta cells with insulin secretory activity in comparison with intact rats; but treatment with the B. crassifolia seed extract increased significantly the activity of the beta cells in comparison with the diabetic control rats. The extract decreased serum glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and increased insulin release from the beta cells of the pancreas.
Conclusion
These finding suggest that B. crassifolia seed has beneficial effect for diabetes through decreasing blood glucose and lipid levels, increasing insulin sensitivity index and insulin content, up-regulating antioxidant enzyme activity and decreasing lipid peroxidation.
PMCID: PMC4202625  PMID: 25435601
Byrsonima crassifolia; pancreatic β-cells; antioxidant enzyme; hypoglycaemia rats
29.  Electroacupuncturing at Zusanli Point (ST36) Attenuates Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Release and Organ Dysfunction by Activating Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway in Rat With Endotoxin Challenge 
Background
It is considered that the pathogenesis is closely related to an excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines caused by bacterial toxins and an imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators
Materials and Methods
This work investigates the effect of electro-acupuncturing (EA), at Zusanli point (ST36) on plasma cytokine release and organ dysfunction and their mechanism in conscious rats with endotoxin challenge.
Results
EA at Zusanli points obviously lowered the elevated levels of plasma TNF-α, and attenuated changes in parameters relevant to various organ functions at 2 h after LPS challenge. α-BGT injection or bilateral cervical vagotomy could weaken or eliminate the effects of EA, and further aggravated the elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and organ dysfunction.
Conclusion
The results suggested that EA at Zusanli points significantly reduced the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and organ dysfunction after LPS challenge by activating cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.
PMCID: PMC4202659  PMID: 25435635
Electro-acupuncture; Lipopolysaccharide; Cytokine; Cholinergic; anti-inflammatory pathway
30.  Studies on Resin Purification Process Optimization of Eucommia Ulmoides Oliver and Its Antihypertensive Effect Mechanism 
Background
Through research it is found that the barks, stems, fruits and flowers of Eucommia ulmoides contain various compositions, such as lignin, cycloalkane and phenylpropanoids. The modern pharmacological research shows that Eucommia ulmoides has many functions, such as anti-aging, antitumor and bone cell proliferation. This paper studied the resin purification process optimization conditions and antihypertensive effect of Eucommia ulmoides Oliver.
Materials and Methods
The orthogonal experiment method was adopted to determine the purification effect of various macro-porous resins for eucommia ulmoides Oliver, and the SHR model was used to determine antihypertensive level of eucommia ulmoides Oliver.
Results
The optimal process of resin extraction and purification of Eucommia ulmoides Oliver was verified through the loading liquid concentration at 6 mg/ml, 20% ethanol used as the eluent; the flow rate control was 3.0, column volume per hour and the diameter-height ratio of adsorption column was 1:6; the extracts of Eucommia ulmoides Oliver can reduce SHR blood pressure, its antihypertensive effect is relatively stable and has no significant impact on HR, but the antihypertensive effect is lower than that of control medicine captopril. Also, the extracts of eucommia ulmoides Oliver can significantly increase the content of serum NO and reduce the content of ET.
Conclusion
The Eucommia ulmoides Oliver can relax blood vessels, reduce the peripheral resistance, reduce the returned blood volume, and eventually achieve the antihypertensive effect.
PMCID: PMC4202660  PMID: 25435636
Eucommia ulmoides Oliver; AB-8 Type Macroporous Resin; SHR
32.  Hepatoprotective Properties of Aqueous Leaf Extract of Persea Americana, Mill (Lauraceae) ‘Avocado’ Against CCL4-Induced Damage in Rats 
Background
Natural products from plants have received considerable attention in recent years due to their diverse pharmacological properties, including antioxidants and hepatoprotective activities. The protective effects of aqueous extract of Persea americana (AEPA) against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity in male albino rats was investigated.
Materials and Methods
Liver damage was induced in rats by administering a 1:1 (v/v) mixture of CCl4 and olive oil [3 ml/kg, subcutaneously (sc)] after pre-treatment for 7 days with AEPA. Hepatoprotective effects of AEPA was evaluated by estimating the activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and levels of total bilirubin (TBL). The effects of AEPA on biomarkers of oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation) and antioxidant enzymes namely, catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) were measured in liver post mitochondrial fraction.
Results
AEPA and Reducdyn® showed significant (p<0.05) hepatoprotective activity by decreasing the activities of ALT, AST, ALP and reducing the levels of TBL. The activities of antioxidant enzymes, levels of malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls were also decreased dose-dependently in the AEPA-treated rats. Pre-treatment with AEPA also decreased the serum levels of glutathione significantly.
Conclusion
These data revealed that AEPA possesses significant hepatoprotective effects against CCl4-induced toxicity attributable to its constituent phytochemicals. The mechanism of hepatoprotection seems to be through modulation of antioxidant enzyme system.
PMCID: PMC4202626  PMID: 25435602
Persea americana; carbon tetrachloride; hepatotoxicity; lipid peroxidation; antioxidants enzymes
33.  Cytotoxicity of Three South African Medicinal Plants Using the Chang Liver Cell Line 
Background
Arctotis arctotoides, Gasteria bicolor and Pittosporum viridiflorum are commonly used in the Eastern Cape, South Africa by traditional healers for the treatment of opportunistic fungal infections in HIV/AIDS patients. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of published data regarding the toxicity of the selected plants, despite the fact that experimental screening of toxicity is crucial to guarantee the safety of the users.
Materials and Methods
Therefore, it was decided to evaluate the cytotoxicity of the hexane and acetone extracts of the medicinal plants against the Chang Liver cell line using the in vitro MTT assay. Different concentrations of the extracts were added into 24-hour cultured cells and incubated for 72 hours under specific condition (37 °C, 5% CO2). Cell survival was evaluated using the 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay.
Results
Depending on the dosage and duration of treatment, the cytotoxic effects of Gasteria bicolor and Pittosporum viridiflorum were considered relatively weak (but not entirely absent) and less of a toxicity risk. Arctotis arctotoides extracts were the most toxic both in terms of IC50 values as well as the steeper slope of the dose response curve. The IC50 values for the acetone and hexane extracts of this plant were 17.4 and 12.4 µg/ml respectively.
Conclusion
These relatively low values raise concern for potential hepatotoxic effects and deserve further investigation or at least a warning to potential users.
PMCID: PMC4202640  PMID: 25435616
Cytotoxicity; medicinal plants; opportunistic fungal infections; Chang liver cell line
34.  A New Bioactive Thiophenolic Glycoside from the Leaf of Massularia Acuminata (G. Don Bullock) Ex Hoyle (Rubiaceae) 
Background
Massularia acuminata is a small tree or shrub of tropical rainforest. The leaves are used in Nigerian ethno-medicine for the treatment of microbial infections and pharmacological report suggested the leaf extract as possessing antioxidant activity. This study was therefore carried out to determine the most antioxidant and antimicrobial active fraction(s) of Massularia acuminata leaf and the constituent(s) responsible for the activities.
Matherials and Methods
The leaf of Massularia acuminata was investigated for in vitro antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, using a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay and agar dilution method respectively.
Results
The ethyl acetate fraction demonstrated the best activities among the partitioned fractions tested. Bioassay guided purification of the most active ethyl acetate fraction led to isolation of a new thiophenolic glycoside, characterized as 4-(3′,3′-dihydroxy-1-mercaptopropyl)phenyl glycosylpyranoside.
Conclusion
The isolated compound from the leaf of Massularia acuminata demonstrated antioxidant and antimicrobial activities and may be responsible for the activities of leaf extract and its ethyl acetate fraction, hence this may justify its ethnomedicinal use.
PMCID: PMC4202639  PMID: 25435615
Massularia acuminata, antioxidant; antimicrobial; DPPH; agar dilution; thiophenolic glycoside
35.  Investigation on Antidiarrhoeal Activity of Aristolochia Indica Linn. Root Extracts in Mice 
Background
The present study aimed at investigating the effect of ethanolic extract (EtAI), and aqueous extract (AqAI) of Aristolochia indica Linn roots on castor oil-induced diarrhoea and study on small intestinal transit. Phytochemical analysis of extracts was performed as per standard procedure.
Materials and Methods
The oral toxicity study using Swiss albino mice was performed in accordance with OECD guidelines. The EtAI and AqAI extracts of Aristolochia indica Linn were studied for antidiarrhoeal property using castor oil-induced diarrhoeal model and charcoal-induced gastrointestinal motility test in Swiss albino mice.
Results
Among the tested doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight, the extracts reduced the frequency and severity of diarrhoea in test animals throughout the study period. At the same doses, the extract delayed the intestinal transit of charcoal meal in test animals as compared to the control and the results were statistically significant.
Conclusion
Experimental findings showed that ethanol extract of Aristolochia indica Linn root possess significant antidiarrheal activity and may be a potent source of anti-diarrhoeal drug in future.
PMCID: PMC4202635  PMID: 25435611
Antidiarrheal activity; Aristolochia indica Linn; ethanol extract; small intestinal transit
36.  The Use of Alternative Methods in Reducing Menopausal Complaints in Turkey 
Background
Millions of women experience menopause every year, therefore the aim of this study is to determine the rates of application of alternative methods applied by women in order to reduce their complaints caused by menopause and alternative application methods.
Materials and Methods
This study was carried out on 246 women in their menopausal period. The data was obtained by the researcher through face to face interviews during the home visits. During the collection of data, a questionnaire form by the researcher that was developed in accordance with the literature information was applied.
Results
37.4% of women were determined to use alternative methods to reduce their menopausal symptoms. In the consequence of statistical analysis, a significant relation was found between the menopausal complaints such as hot flashes, night sweats and sleeping problem and the use of alternative methods in order to reduce their menopausal complaints (p<0.05).
Conclusion
It was determined that the women at their menopausal ages experienced vasomotor complaints and sleeping problems and they used alternative methods to reduce those problems.
PMCID: PMC4202636  PMID: 25435612
Menopause; hot flashes; Alternative medicine
37.  An Assessment of Traditional Uighur Medicine in Current Xinjiang Region (China) 
Background
The main objectives of this study were to assess the current research and development of traditional Uighur medicine in Xinjiang (China), and to evaluate the promising pharmacological products of traditional Uighur medicine for further studies.
Materials and Methods
Traditional Uighur medicine data of medicine registry, patent, and academic publications was collected and analyzed.
Results
Data showed that, among the registered and studied traditional Uighur medicine, the main therapeutic areas of traditional Uighur medicine focused on skin disease, urogenital disease, rheumatism and digestive system disease. The representative traditional Uighur patent medicine included the following: BaixuanXiatare Tablets, Kaliziran Tincture and Vernoniaanthelmintica Injection (Psoriasis and vitiligo); Xi-payimazibiziLiquid (prostatitis); KursiKaknaq (urinary tract infection); Tongzhisurunjiang Capsules (anti-rheumatism medicine); HuganBuzure Granules (digestive system disease). Moreover, ten Uighur herbs were widely used, including: ResinaScammoniae, Folium FumicisDentati, HerbaDracocephali, Semen AmygdaliDulcis, HerbaChamomillae, FructusPimpinellaeanisi, Cortex Foeniculi, FructusVernoniae, FructusApii, and Radix AnacycliPyrethri.
Conclusion
This study concluded by indicating that traditional Uighur medicine with excellent curative effect should be screened in details for their phytochemical properties and pharmacological activity to discover new bioactive constituents.
PMCID: PMC4202637  PMID: 25435613
Traditional Uighur medicine; Traditional Uighur patent medicine; Uighur herb
38.  In-Vitro Screening of Malaysian Honey from Different Floral Sources for Antibacterial Activity on Human Pathogenic Bacteria 
Background
Different researches on therapeutic effects of honey have been conducted in different regions; however the study on the potential antibacterial activity of Malaysian honey is still limited. In this study, antibacterial activities of different monofloral honey samples were tested against several common human pathogenic bacteria.
Materials and Methods
The well-diffusion method, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) techniques were employed to investigate the putative antibacterial activity of Malaysian monofloral honey from Koompassia excelsa (Becc.) Taub (Tualang), Melaleuca cajuputi Powell (Gelam) and Durio zibethinus Murr. (Durian). Honey samples were tested against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6518 and ATCC25923, Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC12228, Enterococcus faecium LMG16192, Enterococcus faecalis LMG16216 and ATCC29212, Escherichia coli ATCC25922, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ATCC14028 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC13883.
Results
Marked variations were observed in the antibacterial activity of these honey samples. Durian honey failed to produce substantial antibacterial activity, whereas Tualang and Gelam honey showed a spectrum of antibacterial activity with their growth inhibitory effects against all of the tested bacterial species including vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).
Conclusion
Present findings suggested Gelam honey possesses highest antibacterial effect among the tested Malaysian honey samples.
PMCID: PMC4202638  PMID: 25435614
Honey; monofloral; antibacterial; well-diffusion method; VRE
39.  GA3-Mediated Dormancy Alleviation in the Reputed African Potato, Hypoxis Hemerocallidea 
Background
Hypoxis hemerocallidea, arguably the most well-known medicinal species in South Africa, has been the subject of intensive harvesting from the wild leading to recent conservation concerns. The seeds of this species do not propagate easily and can lie dormant for up to twelve months.
Materials and Methods
In the in vitro germination experiments water, acid and chemical pre-sowing treatments were performed to determine the germination response of this species in both light and dark conditions. In the ex vitro experiment, intact seeds were sown and left to germinate in a potting soil mix under greenhouse conditions.
Results
Highest levels of germination (36.7–60.0% in the light and 36.7–46.7% in the dark) were achieved by treating mechanically scarified seeds with GA3 at various concentrations for 24 h. This was followed by scarified seeds soaked in water (26.7% in the light and 23.3% in the dark). Similar results (23.3 and 26.7%) were obtained in the 1% and 4% KNO3 treatments, respectively, under light conditions only. The fastest time to germinate was two days and was obtained in the 1200 ppm GA3 treatment in both light and dark conditions. Ex vitro germination of H. hemerocallidea seeds under greenhouse conditions was unsuccessful.
Conclusion
H. hemerocallidea displays physical and non-deep physiological dormancy where pre-sowing treatments are required before the seeds will germinate.
PMCID: PMC4202641  PMID: 25435617
medicinal plant; dormancy; GA3; pre-sowing
40.  Studies on the Identification of Constituents in Ethanol Extract of Radix Glycyrrhizae and Their Anticancer Activity 
Background
The main functions of Radix Glycyrrhizae include regulating middle warmer, moistening lung, relieving toxicity, harmonizing property of drugs which is a traditional Chinese medicine widely used in clinical settings. The objective of the paper is to isolate and identify the constituents in ethanol extract of Radix Glycyrrhizae, and to study their anticancer activity.
Materials and Methods
Column chromatography, ODS column chromatography, preparative thin layer chromatography and NMR spectroscopy techniques were used to isolate compounds from ethanol extract of Radix Glycyrrhizae; optical microscopy and flow cytometry were used to determine the anticancer effect of Radix Glycyrrhizae extract.
Results
Four compounds were isolated from the ethanol extract of Radix Glycyrrhizae, namely oleanolic acid, isoliquiritin, glycyrrhetinic acid and licochalcone A. Optical microscopic observation showed that the growth of gastric cancer cell line SGC-7901 was inhibited in the experimental groups, and apoptotic morphological changes were observed in adherent cells; flow cytometry with PI staining showed that Radix Glycyrrhizae extract could induce SGC-7901 cell apoptosis within a concentration range of 0.5–1.5 mg/mL, compared with the control group, the apoptosis was positively correlated with the drug concentration, which exhibited an apparent dose-dependence.
Conclusion
We conclude Ethanol extract of Radix Glycyrrhizae has an anti-proliferative activity on SGC-7901 cells.
PMCID: PMC4202642  PMID: 25435618
Radix Glycyrrhizae; oleanolic acid; isoliquiritin; glycyrrhetinic acid; licochalcone A; SGC-7901 cell
41.  Effects of Ficus Thonningii Extracts on the Gastrointestinal Tract and Clinical Biochemistry of Suckling Rats 
Background
Ficus thonningii is commonly used in traditional medicine across the African continent. We investigated the effects of crude Ficus thonningii extracts on growth, morphology and morphometry of the abdominal viscera and clinical biochemistry of neonatal rats.
Materials and Methods
Forty, 6-day old Sprague Dawley rat pups were orally gavaged once daily with either low (50 mg.kg−1 b.w) or high (500 mg.kg−1 b.w) doses of aqueous or methanolic F. thonningii leaf extracts while the control received distilled water. After 7 days of treatment, the pups were euthanased and gross morphometric measurements of the abdominal visceral organs were recorded. Samples of the liver, caecum and proximal small intestine were processed for histology. Plasma biochemical parameters were analysed colorimetrically.
Results
High methanolic doses of F. thonningii extracts exhibited trophic effects on the stomach while both aqueous and methanolic extracts had trophic effects on the ceacal mucosa of rats. No significant growth-promoting effects were observed in other visceral organs. Histological analysis revealed no mucosal damage or necrosis. Clinical biochemistry parameters were not abnormally altered. There was a significant decrease (p<0.05, ANOVA) in the plasma concentration of non-fasting glucose in the high methanolic group but triglycerides and cholesterol were unaltered.
Conclusion
The findings suggest that at low doses, F. thonningii extracts can be safely used without the risk of any disruption in the structural integrity of the neonatal rat GIT and function of the liver and kidneys.
PMCID: PMC4202634  PMID: 25435610
Ficus thonningii; neonate; clinical biochemistry; gastrointestinal tract; histology
42.  Cytotoxicity, Phytochemical Analysis and Antioxidant Activity of Crude Extracts from Rhizomes of Elephantorrhiza Elephantina and Pentanisia Prunelloides 
Background
Elephantorrhiza elephantina (Ee) and Pentanisia prunelloides (Pp) are two medicinal plants which are widely used to remedy various ailments including diarrhoea, dysentery, inflammation, fever, rheumatism, heartburn, tuberculosis, haemorrhoids, skin diseases, perforated peptic ulcers and sore joints in southern Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe). The following study was conducted to explore the in vitro cytotoxicity, antioxidant properties and phytochemical profile of the two medicinal plants.
Materials and Methods
The cytotoxicity of the aqueous and methanol extracts and fractions of both species was studied using the brine shrimp lethality tests (BST) for the first time.
Results
The results demonstrated that the lethality (LC50) for crude extracts for both plants ranged between 1.8 and 5.8 ppm and was relatively greater than that for the methanol, ethyl acetate and chloroform fractions of the extracts which ranged between 2.1 ppm and 27 ppm. This suggested that crude extracts were more potent than their respective fractions, further explaining that the different fractions of phytochemicals in these plant species work jointly (in synergy) to exert their therapeutic efficacy. Both aqueous and methanol extracts of the two medicinal plants demonstrated a high degree of antioxidant capacity against the DPPH radical with the Duh and Yen inhibition percentage ranging between 4.5% and 72%. Phytochemical studies of the rhizome extracts showed that the major compounds present include flavonoids, tannins, anthocyanidins, anthraquinones, triterpenoids (oleanolic acid), the steroidal saponin Diosgenin, the sugars, rhamnose, glucuronic acid, Arabinose and hexoses.
Conclusion
This is the first report of the detection and isolation of diosgenin and oleanolic acid from the rhizome extracts of Ee and Pp. All structures were determined using spectroscopic/spectrometric techniques (1H NMR and 13C and LC-ESI-MS) and by comparison with literature data.
PMCID: PMC3957240  PMID: 24653552
E. elephantina; P. prunelloides; Diosgenin; Oleanolic acid; cytotoxicity
43.  Modified Yupingfeng Formula for the Treatment of Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials 
Background
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a very common disease of respiratory system. An increasing number of clinical trials on Yupingfeng formula in the management of stable COPD have been performed. However, the evidence base for it remains unknown. This review aims at assessing the efficacy, and safety of modified Yupingfeng formula in the treatment of stable COPD through a systematic review of all available randomized controlled trials.
Materials and Methods
Literature retrieval was conducted using four English databases (CENTRAL, PubMed, EMBASE, and ISI Web of Science), and four Chinese databases (CBM, CNKI, VIP, and WANFANG), from respective inception to January 2013, and supplemented with a manual search. Review authors independently extracted the trial data, and assessed the quality of each trial. Methodological quality was assessed by Cochrane risk of bias and Jadad's scale. The following outcomes were evaluated: (1) lung function; (2) 6-minute walk distance (6MWD); (3) effective rate; (4) serum levels of IgA, IgG and IgE; and (5) adverse events. Data were analyzed using STATA 12.0 software.
Results
A total of nine studies involving 660, stable COPD patients were identified. Patients from all studies included in this review were randomized to receive Yupingfeng formula combined with Western medications in comparison with Western medications. In general, the methodological quality of the included trials was poor. The results of this systematic review indicates that, compared with Western medications alone, the use of Yupingfeng formula, if combined with Western medications could significantly improve FEV1 (WMD = 0.30L; 95%CI: 0.19, 0.42), FEV1/FVC ratio (SMD = 0.69; 95%CI: 0.48, 0.91), 6MWD (WMD = 31.73m; 95% CI: 19.29, 44.17), and effective rate (RR = 1.24; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.41), and increase the serum levels of IgA (WMD = 0.25; 95%CI: 0.16, 0.34) and IgG (WMD = 1.10; 95%CI: 0.53, 1.68), but no difference was found in the serum IgE levels (WMD = 0.47; 95%CI: −0.32, 1.27) between the two groups. No serious adverse events were reported.
Conclusions
Within the limitations of this systematic review, we may conclude that compared with Western medications alone, Yupingfeng formula, when combined with Western medications can provide more benefits for patients with stable COPD, without any serious adverse reactions being identified. However, these benefits need to be further confirmed through high-quality prospective placebo-controlled trials that should be strictly conducted in accordance with methodological principles and procedures.
PMCID: PMC3957235  PMID: 24653547
Yupingfeng formula; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Systematic review
44.  Anti-Tumour Effects of Polysaccharides Isolated from Artemisia Annua L by Inducing Cell Apoptosis and Immunomodulatory Anti-Hepatoma Effects of Polysaccharides 
Background
It is well known that various polysaccharides present anti-tumour effects by inducing cell apoptosis and immunomodulation. However, it is still unclear about the roles of polysaccharides isolated from Artemisia apiacea (HQG) to hepatoma and its underlying mechanism. The objective of the study was to examine the anti-hepatoma effects of HQG and its related mechanism.
Materials and Methods
HQG was prepared in house and the quality and purity were confirmed by infra-red spectrum and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). Tumour-bearing mice induced by injection of mouse hepatoma H22 cells were used to evaluate the tumour growth inhibition by HQG administration. Cell immunostaining, JC1 staining and flow cytometer were performed to examine the cell apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential change and immunomodulation in response to HQG treatment.
Results
HQG treatment inhibited hepatoma growth in tumour-bearing mice. Cell apoptosis rate of human hepatoma 7402 cells and of the cells from ascites in tumour-bearing mice was increased after HQG treatment. Mitochondrial membrane potential in human hepatoma 7402 cells was decreased after HQG treatment. CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes subpopulation was increased while the ratio of CD4+/ CD8+ decreased in tumour-bearing mice after HQG administration. IFN-γ and IL-4 secretion was increased in spleen lymphocytes in tumour-bearing mice after HQG administration.
Conclusion
The study concluded that polysaccharides isolated from Artemisia apiacea (HQG) can inhibit hepatoma cell growths by facilitating cell apoptosis and immuno-defence.
PMCID: PMC3957236  PMID: 24653548
Polysaccharides isolated from Artemisia apiacea (HQG); anti-tumour effects; tumour growth; cell apoptosis; immunomodulation
45.  The Antibacterial Activity of Traditionally Used Salvadora Persica L. (Miswak) and Commiphora Gileadensis (Palsam) in Saudi Arabia 
Background
Nowadays there is a need to find naturally occurring substances from plants with antimicrobial activity as an alternative to available used antibiotics.
Materials and Methods
Salvadora persica (miswak) and Commiphora gileadensis were collected, dried and extracted with either methanol or warm water and the obtained extracts were assessed for their antibacterial activity against 5 different genera of bacteria using agar well diffusion method. The tested bacteria included some human pathogens.
Results
The obtained extracts exhibited considerable inhibitory effects against all the tested bacteria with various degrees of growth inhibition. It was shown that methanol extract was more effective compared to water extracts. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the methanol extracts ranged from 50–100 °g/ml. No toxicity was found using Artimia salina as test organism and no antitumor activity against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma.
Conclusion
S. persica and C. gileadensis showed moderate to high inhibitory activity on pathogenic bacteria with no toxicity and can be used traditionally as alternative medicine
PMCID: PMC3957237  PMID: 24653549
plant extracts; antibiotic; Salvadora indica; miswak; Commiphora gileadensis; toxicity; MIC and antitumor
47.  Studies on the Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic and Antipyrexic Activities of Betulinic Acid Derived from Tetracera Potatoria 
Background
The anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activity of betulinic acid (BA) was investigated in this study. The triterpene was isolated from the ethyl acetate extract of Tetracera potatoria and its structure was verified by IR and NMR spectroscopy. The bioactivity of this compound was assessed using carrageenan-induced paw oedema in rats and carrageenan-induced pulmonary oedema in mice for the anti-inflammatory activity, while acetic acid-induced writhing test in mice and zymosan-induced fever in rats were used for analgesic test.
Materials and Methods
Rats and mice were randomly divided into groups of five animals. For each experiment, betulinic acid at 10, 20 or 40mg/kg b.w was administered intraperitoneally to the first three groups respectively. The fourth group was administered with indomethacin (10mg/kg) or acetylsalicylic acid (150mg/kg), while the fifth group was administered with distilled water (10ml/kg). Data obtained were expressed as mean±S.E.M and significant differences were determined at p<0.05.
Results
BA significantly reduced carrageenan-induced paw oedema by 11.0%, 45.7%, 68.6% or pulmonary oedema by 25.6, 29.2 and 45.13% dose dependently. 40 mg/kg of BA inhibited paw oedema by 68.6% comparably to acetylsalicylic acid (71.4%) or indomethacin (51.33%) respectively. Abdominal writhing was also significantly (p<0.05) reduced to 17.20 writhes by BA (40mg/kg) comparable to Indomethacin (16.3writhes). Fever was inhibited by BA most significantly by 3hours post-injection of zymosan (1.00, 1.45, 0.00°C) and this inhibitory effect was higher than that observed for acetylsalicylic acid (0.30°C).
Conclusion
Betulinic acid derived from Tetracera potatoria exhibited potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic or antipyrexic activity which is comparable to indomethacin or acetylsalicyclic acid.
PMCID: PMC3957239  PMID: 24653551
Anti-inflammatory; analgesia; antipyrexia; betulinic acid; Tetracera potatoria
48.  Antidepressant Properties of Aqueous Macerate from Gladiolus Dalenii Corms 
Background
Gladiolus dalenii Van Geel (Iridaceae) has been used for the treatment of depression and psychotic disorders in African traditional medicine. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the aqueous extract from the corm of Gladiolus dalenii and its possible mechanisms of action.
Materials and Methods
We assessed the antidepressant properties of G. dalenii corm aqueous extract in mice, using the open field, forced swimming, and tail suspension tests. Spontaneous locomotor activity of mice given various doses of G. dalenii extract (per os) was determined in the open field, whereas immobility was evaluated in the other two tests.
Results
Extract maximal effect was observed at 15 mg/kg, as mice displayed a marked reduction in immobility time in both the forced swimming test (80%) and the tail suspension test (66%). In further studies aimed at investigating the mechanism of action of G. dalenii extract, the latter significantly antagonized the effect of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA, 75 mg/kg) at both the doses 15 mg/kg (p<0.001) and 150 mg/kg (p=0.004). A significant reduction in immobility time was also observed following treatment with combinations of a sub-effective dose of extract (7.5 mg/kg) with either the NMDA receptor antagonist D-(−)-2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid (D-AP7, 50 mg/kg, P< 0.001), the serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (5 and 10 mg/kg, P< 0.001and P< 0.001 respectively), and the multi-target antidepressant imipramine (5 and 10 mg/kg, P< 0.001 and P< 0.001 respectively). Moreover, neither G. dalenii extract alone nor its combinations with NMDA ligands imipramine and fluoxetine enhanced mouse spontaneous locomotor activity.
Conclusion
Altogether, these results suggest that G. dalenii has antidepressant properties, probably mediated through interactions with NMDA, serotonin and/ or noradrenergic systems, and may justify its use in traditional medicine.
PMCID: PMC3957241  PMID: 24653553
Gladiolus dalenii; depression; forced swimming test; tail suspension test; open field test; therapy
49.  Effects of Vietnamese Sophora Root on Growth, Adhesion, Invasion and Motility of Melanoma Cells 
Background
Vietnamese Sophora Root mainly contains active constituents such as alkaloids, and it has anti-tumour, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects. The objective of the paper was to study the effects of Vietnamese Sophora Root on growth, adhesion, invasion and motility of mouse melanoma B16BL6 cells, and to preliminarily explore its mechanism of action.
Materials and Methods
MTT assay was used to detect the effect of Vietnamese Sophora Root aqueous extract on B16BL6 cell proliferation. Cell adhesion assay, reconstituted basement membrane invasion assay and chemotactic motility assay were used to observe the effects of Vietnamese Sophora Root aqueous extract on adhesion, invasion and motility of B16BL6 cells.
Results
Different concentrations of Vietnamese Sophora Root aqueous extracts had different degrees of inhibitory effects on B16BL6 proliferation. With the decrease of concentration, the proliferation inhibitory effect decreased and even turned to promoting effect. The extract significantly inhibited the adhesion of B16BL6 cells to the basement membrane component LN, and had a significant effect on both the invasive and migratory capacities of B16BL6 cells through the basement membrane.
Conclusion
We concluded that the aqueous extract of Vietnamese Sophora Root can inhibit the proliferation of melanoma cells, as well as their adhesion and movement.
PMCID: PMC3957242  PMID: 24653554
Vietnamese Sophora Root; B16BL6; adhesion; invasion
50.  The Flavonoid Constitunts of Leucaena Leucocephala. Growing in Egypt, and Their Biological Activity 
Background
Leucaena leucocephala is native to Southern Mexico and Northern Central America, but is now naturalized throughout the tropics. The phyto-chemical data of L. leucocephala revealed the presence of terpenes, flavonoids, coumarins and sterols. Various parts of L. leucocephala have been reported to have medicinal properties.
Materials and Methods
Flavonoids were isolated from the aerial parts of L. leucocephala. Antioxidant activity of the extracts and the isolated compounds was evaluated using (DPPH), as well as their cytotoxic activity using a single tumor [Ehrlish ascites carcinoma cells].
Results
The flavonoidal constituents isolated from chloroform, ethyl acetate and n-butanol fractions of the aqueous alcoholic extract of aerial parts of Leucaena leucocephala were identified as Caffeic acid, Isorhamnetin, Chrysoeriol, Isorhamnetin 3-O-galactoside, Kaempferol-3-O-rubinoside, Quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside and Luteolin-7-glucoside. Chemical structures of the isolated compounds were identified by TLC, PC and spectral techniques (UV, 1H-NMR and MS). The ethyl acetate fraction and the isolated flavonoidal compounds showed high antioxidant activity compared to Trolox (standard antioxidant compound). The different fractions and isolated compounds of Leucaena leucocephala exhibited no cytotoxic activity against Ehrlich-ascitis carcinoma cell line at the tested concentrations.
Conclusion
This is the first record of the flavonoids in the aerial parts of Leucaena leucocephala (L.) except Quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside.
PMCID: PMC3957243  PMID: 24653555
Leucaena leucocephala.; Flavonoids; Antioxidant; cytotoxic activity

Results 26-50 (659)