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1.  Antihyperglycemic effect of Annona squamosa hexane extract in type 2 diabetes animal model: PTP1B inhibition, a possible mechanism of action? 
Indian Journal of Pharmacology  2012;44(3):326-332.
The mechanism of action of Annona squamosa hexane extract in mediating antihyperglycemic and antitriglyceridimic effect were investigated in this study.
Materials and Methods:
The effects of extract on glucose uptake, insulin receptor-β (IR-β), insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) phosphorylation and glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3 kinase) mRNA expression were studied in L6 myotubes. The in vitro mechanism of action was tested in protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), G-protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40), silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1) and dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) assays. The in vivo efficacy was characterized in ob/ob mice after an oral administration of the extract for 21 days.
The effect of extract promoted glucose uptake, IR-β and IRS-1 phosphorylation and GLUT4 and PI3 kinase mRNA upregulation in L6 myotubes. The extract inhibited PTP1B with an IC50 17.4 μg/ml and did not modulate GPR40, SIRT1 or DPP-IV activities. An oral administration of extract in ob/ob mice for 21 days improved random blood glucose, triglyceride and oral glucose tolerance. Further, the extract did not result in body weight gain before and after treatment (29.3 vs. 33.6 g) compared to rosiglitazone where significant body weight gain was observed (28.4 vs. 44.5 g; *P<0.05 after treatment compared to before treatment).
The results suggest that Annona squamosa hexane extract exerts its action by modulating insulin signaling through inhibition of PTP1B.
PMCID: PMC3371453  PMID: 22701240
Annona squamosa; type 2 diabetes mellitus; insulin mimetics; PTP1B inhibitor; OGTT; ob/ob mice
2.  Drug discovery from plant sources: An integrated approach 
Ayu  2012;33(1):10-19.
New drug discovery is facing serious challenges due to reduction in number of new drug approvals coupled with exorbitant rising cost. Advent of combinatorial chemistry provided new hope of higher success rates of new chemical entities (NCEs); however, even this scientific development has failed to improve the success rate in new drug discovery. This scenario has prompted us to come out with a novel approach of integrated drug discovery, where Ayurvedic wisdom can synergize with drug discovery from plant sources. Initial steps in new drug discovery involve identification of NCEs, which can be either sourced through chemical synthesis or can be isolated from natural products through biological activity guided fractionation. The sources of many of the new drugs and active ingredients of medicines are derived from natural products. The starting point for plant-based new drug discovery should be identification of the right candidate plants by applying Ayurvedic wisdom, traditional documented use, tribal non-documented use, and exhaustive literature search. Frequency analysis of the ingredients of the ancient documented formulations and analysis of their Ayurvedic attributes may provide an in-depth idea of the predominance of particular Ayurvedic characteristics based on which appropriate candidate plants may be selected for bioactivity-based fractionation. The integration of Ayurvedic wisdom with drug discovery also brings the need for a paradigm shift in the extraction process from sequential to parallel extraction. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the identified plant may lead to standardized extract or isolated bioactive druggable compound as the new drug. This integrated approach would lead to saving of cost and time, coupled with enhanced success rate in drug discovery.
PMCID: PMC3456845  PMID: 23049178
Ayurveda; biological activity; drug discovery; extraction; fractionation; plant

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