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1.  Induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in caspase-3 deficient MCF-7 cells by Dillenia suffruticosa root extract via multiple signalling pathways 
Background
Dillenia suffruticosa root dichloromethane extract (DCM-DS) has been reported to exhibit strong cytotoxicity towards breast cancer cells. The present study was designed to investigate the cell cycle profile, mode of cell death and signalling pathways of DCM-DS-treated human caspase-3 deficient MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
Methods
Dillenia suffruticosa root was extracted by sequential solvent extraction. The anti-proliferative activity of DCM-DS was determined by using MTT assay. The mode of cell death was evaluated by using inverted light microscope and Annexin-V/PI-flow cytometry analysis. Cell cycle analysis and measurement of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were performed by using flow cytometry. MCF-7 cells were co-treated with antioxidants α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid to evaluate whether the cell death was mainly due to oxidative stress. GeXP-based multiplex system was employed to investigate the expression of apoptotic, growth and survival genes in MCF-7 cells. Western blot analysis was performed to confirm the expression of the genes.
Results
DCM-DS was cytotoxic to the MCF-7 cells in a time-and dose-dependent manner. The IC50 values of DCM-DS at 24, 48 and 72 hours were 20.3 ± 2.8, 17.8 ± 1.5 and 15.5 ± 0.5 μg/mL, respectively. Cell cycle analysis revealed that DCM-DS induced G0/G1 and G2/M phase cell cycle arrest in MCF-7 cells at low concentration (12.5 and 25 μg/mL) and high concentration (50 μg/mL), respectively. Although Annexin-V/PI-flow cytometry analysis has confirmed that DCM-DS induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, the distinct characteristics of apoptosis such as membrane blebbing, chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation and formation of apoptotic bodies were not observed under microscope. DCM-DS induced formation of ROS in MCF-7 cells. Nevertheless, co-treatment with antioxidants did not attenuate the cell death at low concentration of DCM-DS. The pro-apoptotic gene JNK was up-regulated whereby anti-apoptotic genes AKT1 and ERK1/2 were down-regulated in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis has confirmed that DCM-DS significantly up-regulated the expression of pro-apoptotic JNK1, pJNK and down-regulated anti-apoptotic AKT1, ERK1 in MCF-7 cells.
Conclusion
DCM-DS induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in MCF-7 cells via multiple signalling pathways. It shows the potential of DCM-DS to be developed to target the cancer cells with mutant caspase-3.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-197
PMCID: PMC4096536  PMID: 24947113
Dillenia suffruticosa; Dichloromethane extract; Cell cycle; Apoptosis; Oxidative stress
2.  Induction of apoptosis through oxidative stress-related pathways in MCF-7, human breast cancer cells, by ethyl acetate extract of Dillenia suffruticosa 
Background
Breast cancer is one of the most dreading types of cancer among women. Herbal medicine has becoming a potential source of treatment for breast cancer. Herbal plant Dillenia suffruticosa (Griff) Martelli under the family Dilleniaceae has been traditionally used to treat cancerous growth. In this study, the anticancer effect of ethyl acetate extract of D. suffruticosa (EADs) was examined on human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF-7 and the molecular pathway involved was elucidated.
Methods
EADs was obtained from the root of D. suffruticosa by using sequential solvent extraction. Cytotoxicity was determined by using MTT assay, mode of cell death by cell cycle analysis and apoptosis induction by Annexin-FITC/PI assay. Morphology changes in cells were observed under inverted light microscope. Involvement of selected genes in the oxidative stress-mediated signaling pathway was explored using multiplex gene expression analysis.
Results
The treatment of EADs caused cytotoxicity to MCF-7 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner at 24, 48 and 72 hours with IC50 of 76 ± 2.3, 58 ± 0.7 and 39 ± 3.6 μg/mL, respectively. The IC50 of tamoxifen-treated MCF-7 cells was 8 ± 0.5 μg/mL. Induction of apoptosis by EADs was dose- and time- dependent. EADs induced non-phase specific cell cycle arrest at different concentration and time point. The multiplex mRNA expression study indicated that EADs-induced apoptosis was accompanied by upregulation of the expression of SOD1, SOD2, NF-κB, p53, p38 MAPK, and catalase, but downregulation of Akt1.
Conclusion
It is suggested that EADs induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells by modulating numerous genes which are involved in oxidative stress pathway. Therefore, EADs has the potential to act as an effective intervention against breast cancer cells.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-55
PMCID: PMC3927215  PMID: 24524627
Dillenia suffruticosa; Breast cancer; Cytotoxic; Apoptosis; Oxidative stress pathway
3.  Ethyl acetate extract of germinated brown rice attenuates hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells: role of anti-apoptotic, pro-survival and antioxidant genes 
Background
There are reports of improved metabolic outcomes due to consumption of germinated brown rice (GBR). Many of the functional effects of GBR can be linked to its high amounts of antioxidants. Interestingly, dietary components with high antioxidants have shown promise in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This effect of dietary components is mostly based on their ability to prevent apoptosis, which is believed to link oxidative damage to pathological changes in AD. In view of the rich antioxidant content of GBR, we studied its potential to modulate processes leading up to AD.
Methods
The total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of the ethyl acetate extract of GBR were compared to that of brown rice (BR), and the cytotoxicity of both extracts were determined on human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells using 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) Assay. Based on its higher antioxidant potentials, the effect of the GBR extract on morphological changes due to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative damage in human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells was examined using inverted light microscope and fluorescence microscope by means of acridine orange-propidium iodide (AO/PI) staining. Also, evaluation of the transcriptional regulation of antioxidant and apoptotic genes was carried out using Multiplex Gene Expression System.
Results
The ethyl acetate extract of GBR had higher total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity compared to BR. The cytotoxicity results showed that GBR extract did not cause any damage to the human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells at concentrations of up to 20 ppm, and the morphological analyses showed that the GBR extract (up to 10 ppm) prevented H2O2-induced apoptotic changes in the cells. Furthermore, multiplex gene expression analyses showed that the protection of the cells by the GBR extract was linked to its ability to induce transcriptional changes in antioxidant (SOD 1, SOD 2 and catalase) and apoptotic (AKT, NF-Kβ, ERK1/2, JNK, p53 and p38 MAPK) genes that tended towards survival.
Conclusions
Taken together, the results of our study showed that the ethyl acetate extract of GBR, with high antioxidant potentials, could prevent H2O2-induced oxidative damage in SH-SY5Y cells. The potential of GBR and its neuroprotective mechanism in ameliorating oxidative stress-related cytotoxicity is therefore worth exploring further.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-177
PMCID: PMC3726323  PMID: 23866310
Germinated brown rice; Antioxidant; Oxidative stress; Neuroprotective; SH-SY5Y
4.  Elucidation of in-vitro anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds isolated from Jatropha curcas L. plant root 
Background
The Jatropha curcas plant or locally known as “Pokok Jarak” has been widely used in traditional medical applications. This plant is used to treat various conditions such as arthritis, gout, jaundice, wound and inflammation. However, the nature of compounds involved has not been well documented. Hence, this study was conducted to investigate the anti-inflammatory activity of different parts of J. curcas plant and to identify the active compounds involved.
Methods
In this study, methanol (80%) extraction of four different parts (leaves, fruits, stem and root) of J. curcas plant was carried out. Phenolic content of each part was determined by using Folin-Ciocalteau reagent. Gallic acid was used as the phenol standard. Each plant part was screened for anti-inflammatory activity using cultured macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. The active plant part was then partitioned with hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate and water. Each partition was again screened for anti-inflammatory activity. The active partition was then fractionated using an open column chromatography system. Single spots isolated from column chromatography were assayed for anti-inflammatory and cytotoxicity activities. Spots that showed activity were subjected to gas chromatography mass spectrophotometry (GC-MS) analysis for identification of active metabolites.
Results
The hexane partition from root extract showed the highest anti-inflammatory activity. However, it also showed high cytotoxicity towards RAW 264.7 cells at 1 mg/mL. Fractionation process using column chromatography showed five spots. Two spots labeled as H-4 and H-5 possessed anti-inflammatory activity, without cytotoxicity activity. Analysis of both spots by GC-MS showed the presence of hexadecanoic acid methyl ester, octadecanoic acid methyl ester and octadecanoic acid.
Conclusion
This finding suggests that hexadecanoic acid methyl ester, octadecanoic acid methyl ester and octadecanoic acid could be responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of the J. curcas root extract.
doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0528-4
PMCID: PMC4330596  PMID: 25652309
Plant parts; Hexane extract; Hexadecanoic acid methyl ester; Octadecanoic acid methyl ester; Octadecanoic acid
5.  Effect of selected local medicinal plants on the asexual blood stage of chloroquine resistant Plasmodium falciparum 
Background
The development of resistant to current antimalarial drugs is a major challenge in achieving malaria elimination status in many countries. Therefore there is a need for new antimalarial drugs. Medicinal plants have always been the major source for the search of new antimalarial drugs. The aim of this study was to screen selected Malaysian medicinal plants for their antiplasmodial properties.
Methods
Each part of the plants were processed, defatted by hexane and sequentially extracted with dichloromethane, methanol and water. The antiplasmodial activities of 54 plant extracts from 14 species were determined by Plasmodium falciparum Histidine Rich Protein II ELISA technique. In order to determine the selectivity index (SI), all plant extracts demonstrating a good antiplasmodial activity were tested for their cytotoxicity activity against normal Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK) cell lines by 3-(4, 5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay.
Results
Twenty three extracts derived from Curcuma zedoaria (rhizome), Curcuma aeruginosa (rhizome), Alpinia galanga (rhizome), Morinda elliptica (leaf), Curcuma mangga (rhizome), Elephantopus scaber (leaf), Vitex negundo (leaf), Brucea javanica (leaf, root and seed), Annona muricata (leaf), Cinnamomun iners (leaf) and Vernonia amygdalina (leaf) showed promising antiplasmodial activities against the blood stage chloroquine resistant P. falciparum (EC50 < 10 μg/ml) with negligible toxicity effect to MDBK cells in vitro (SI ≥10).
Conclusion
The extracts belonging to eleven plant species were able to perturb the growth of chloroquine resistant P. falciparum effectively. The findings justified the bioassay guided fractionation on these plants for the search of potent antimalarial compounds or formulation of standardized extracts which may enhance the antimalarial effect in vitro and in vivo.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-492
PMCID: PMC4300612  PMID: 25510573
6.  Immunohistochemical and molecular study on the protective effect of curcumin against hepatic toxicity induced by paracetamol in Wistar rats 
Background
An overdose of paracetamol is a frequent reason for liver and renal toxicity and possible death and curcumin has hepatoprotective properties against liver damage. The exact mechanism of such protection is not clear. Therefore, this study was conducted to examine the molecular levels of the protective effect of curcumin on paracetamol overdose induced hepatic toxicity in rats.
Methods
Male Wistar rats were allocated into 4 groups. Control group, administered corn oil; curcumin group, administered curcumin (400 mg/kg BW daily intra-gastric) dissolved in corn oil; paracetamol group, administered corn oil with a single dose of paracetamol (500 mg/kg BW intra-gastric) and protective group, administered curcumin with a single dose of paracetamol. Curcumin was administered for 7 successive days, while paracetamol was administered at day six of treatment. Blood and liver tissues were collected for biochemical, histopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular examination.
Results
Serum analysis revealed an alteration in parameters of kidney and liver. A decrease in the antioxidant activity of liver was recorded in paracetamol group while curcumin administration restored it. Histopathological findings showed an extensive coagulative necrosis in hepatocytes together with massive neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration. Immunostaining of liver matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) in paracetamol administered rats showed an increase in MMP-8 expression in the area of coagulative necrosis surrounding the central vein of hepatic lobules. Curcumin administration decreased MMP-8 expression in liver of paracetamol administered rats. Gene expression measurements revealed that paracetamol decreased the expression of antioxidant genes and increased the expression of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and acute phase proteins. Curcumin administration ameliorated paracetamol-induced alterations in genes expression of antioxidant and inflammatory cytokines.
Conclusion
The results clarified the strong protective effect of curcumin on paracetamol induced hepatic toxicity in rats at the immunohistochemical and molecular levels.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-457
PMCID: PMC4258929  PMID: 25432491
Curcumin; Hepatic toxicity; Paracetamol; Cytokines expression; MMP-8 immunostaining; Wistar rats
7.  Phenolic composition, antioxidant, anti-wrinkles and tyrosinase inhibitory activities of cocoa pod extract 
Background
Cocoa pod is an outer part of cocoa fruits being discarded during cocoa bean processing. Authors found out that data on its usage in literature as cosmetic materials was not recorded in vast. In this study, cocoa pod extract was investigated for its potential as a cosmetic ingredient.
Methods
Cocoa pod extract (CPE) composition was accomplished using UHPLC. The antioxidant capacity were measured using scavenging assay of 1,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), β-carotene bleaching assay (BCB) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). Inhibiting effect on skin degradation enzymes was carried out using elastase and collagenase assays. The skin whitening effect of CPE was determined based on mushroom tyrosinase assay and sun screening effect (UV-absorbance at 200-400 nm wavelength).
Results
LC-MS/MS data showed the presence of carboxylic acid, phenolic acid, fatty acid, flavonoids (flavonol and flavones), stilbenoids and terpenoids in CPE. Results for antioxidant activity exhibited that CPE possessed good antioxidant activity, based on the mechanism of the assays compared with ascorbic acid (AA) and standardized pine bark extract (PBE); DPPH: AA > CPE > PBE; FRAP: PBE > CPE > AA; and BCB: BHT > CPE > PBE. Cocoa pod extract showed better action against elastase and collagenase enzymes in comparison with PBE and AA. Higher inhibition towards tyrosinase enzyme was exhibited by CPE than kojic acid and AA, although lower than PBE. CPE induced proliferation when tested on human fibroblast cell at low concentration. CPE also exhibited a potential as UVB sunscreen despite its low performance as a UVA sunscreen agent.
Conclusions
Therefore, the CPE has high potential as a cosmetic ingredient due to its anti-wrinkle, skin whitening, and sunscreen effects.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-381
PMCID: PMC4195981  PMID: 25292439
Cocoa pod extract; Antioxidant; Anti-wrinkles; Skin whitening; Sunscreen agent; Cosmetic ingredient
8.  A preliminary report on oral glucose tolerance and antinociceptive activity tests conducted with methanol extract of Xanthosoma violaceum aerial parts 
Background
Xanthosoma violaceum is commonly observed in fallow areas of Bangladesh but almost no scientific studies exist on this plant. Rural people consume the plant on a frequent basis. The objective of this study was to scientifically analyze the antinociceptive property of methanol extract of aerial parts of the plant along with antihyperglycemic activity.
Methods
Antihyperglycemic activity was measured by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Antinociceptive activity was determined by observed decreases in abdominal constrictions in intraperitoneally administered acetic acid-induced pain model in mice.
Results
Administration of methanol extract of aerial parts led to dose-dependent and significant reductions in blood glucose levels in glucose-loaded mice. At doses of 50, 100, 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight, the extract reduced blood sugar levels by 19.3, 23.2, 31.8, and 47.1%, respectively compared to control animals. By comparison, a standard antihyperglycemic drug, glibenclamide, when administered at a dose of 10 mg per kg body weight, reduced blood glucose level by 48.9%. In antinociceptive activity tests, the extract at the above four doses reduced the number of abdominal constrictions by 41.4, 44.8, 48.3, and 55.2%, respectively. A standard pain relieving (antinociceptive) drug, aspirin, reduced the number of writhings by 31.0 and 51.7%, respectively, when administered at doses of 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight.
Conclusion
To our knowledge, this is the first report on oral glucose tolerance and antinociceptive activity evaluation of aerial parts of the plant. Since the plant is widely available in Bangladesh, the aerial parts can be a readily available source for particularly the rural population for lowering blood sugar in diabetic patients and for alleviating pain.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-335
PMCID: PMC4168192  PMID: 25216815
Antihyperglycemic; Xanthosoma violaceum; OGTT; Antinociceptive; Araceae
9.  Immunomodulatory effect of an isolated fraction from Tinospora crispa on intracellular expression of INF-γ, IL-6 and IL-8 
Background
Immunomodulators are substances that modify immune system response to a threat. Immunomodulators modulate and potentiate the immune system, keeping it highly prepared for any threat. The immunomodulatory effect of the traditional medicine Tinospora crispa is investigated in this work.
Methods
T. crispa ethanol extract was fractionated by using different solvents. The ethanol extract and effective isolated fraction were used to investigate the potential immunomodulatory effect of different T. crispa doses ranging from 25 μg/mL to 1000 μg/mL on RAW 246.7 cells by detecting intracellular INF-γ, IL-6, and IL-8 expressions. The antioxidant activity of T. crispa was evaluated through FRAP and DPPH. The total phenolic and total flavonoid contents were also quantified.
Results
Results show that T. crispa extract has higher antioxidant potential than ascorbic acid. The FRAP value of T. crispa extract is 11011.11 ± 1145.42 μmol Fe+2/g, and its DPPH inhibition percentage is 55.79 ± 7.9, with 22 μg/mL IC50. The results also reveal that the total phenolic content of T. crispa extract is 213.16- ± 1.31 mg GAE/g dry stem weight, and the total flavonoid content is 62.07- ± 39.76 mg QE/g dry stem weight. T. crispa crude extract and its isolated fraction significantly stimulate RAW264.7 cell viability (P ≤ 0.05) and intracellular INF-γ, IL-6, and IL-8 expressions. The results of LC-MS show that four of the active compounds detected in the T. crispa isolated fraction are cordioside, quercetin, eicosenoic acid (paullinic acid), and boldine.
Conclusions
The results of this study obviously indicate that T. crispa has immunomodulatory effects through the stimulation of INF-γ, IL-6, and IL-8 expressions. LC-MS phytochemical analysis showed that the T. crispa fraction has cordioside, quercetin, eicosenoic acid (paullinic acid), and boldine, which may be responsible for the immunostimulator effect of T. crispa.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-205
PMCID: PMC4227069  PMID: 24969238
IL-6; IL-8; Immunomodulatory; INF-γ; Tinospora crispa
10.  Effects of red pitaya juice supplementation on cardiovascular and hepatic changes in high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome rats 
Background
The fruit of Hylocereus polyrhizus, also known as red pitaya, and buah naga in Malay, is one of the tropical fruits of the cactus family, Cactaceae. Red pitaya has been shown to protect aorta from oxidative damage and improve lipid profiles in hypercholesterolemic rats probably due to phytochemicals content including phenolics and flavonoids. The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in cardiac stiffness, hepatic and renal function in high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced obese rats following supplementation of red pitaya juice.
Methods
Total 48 male Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups: corn-starch group (CS), corn-starch + red pitaya juice group (CRP), high-carbohydrate, high fat group (HCHF) and high-carbohydrate, high fat + red pitaya juice (HRP). The intervention with 5% red pitaya juice was started for 8 weeks after 8 weeks initiation of the diet. Heart function was determined ex vivo with Langendorff hearts while plasma liver enzymes, uric acid and urea were measured using commercial kits. Total fat mass was determined with Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. Glucose uptake was measured with Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Liver and cardiac structures were defined by histology.
Results
Supplementation of red pitaya juice for 8 weeks increased energy intake and abdominal circumference but no change in body fat and lean mass respectively. Also, there were a trend of uric acid and glucose normalization for HRP as compared to H-fed rats. Red pitaya juice treatment reduced ALP and ALT but caused significant increment in AST. Diastolic stiffness of the heart was reduced after supplementation of red pitaya juice in corn starch fed rats. However, the reduction was not significant in HRP rats in comparison with H rats.
Conclusion
The present study concluded that red pitaya juice may serve as a complimentary therapy for attenuating some signs of metabolic syndrome.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-189
PMCID: PMC4064814  PMID: 24919841
Red pitaya juice; Metabolic syndrome; High-carbohydrate high-fat diet
11.  A preliminary evaluation of antihyperglycemic and analgesic activity of Alternanthera sessilis aerial parts 
Background
Alternanthera sessilis is used by folk medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh for alleviation of severe pain. The objective of this study was to scientifically analyze the analgesic (non-narcotic) property of aerial parts of the plant along with antihyperglycemic activity.
Methods
Antihyperglycemic activity was measured by oral glucose tolerance tests. Analgesic (non-narcotic) activity was determined by observed decreases in abdominal writhings in intraperitoneally administered acetic acid-induced pain model in mice.
Results
Administration of methanol extract of aerial parts led to dose-dependent and significant reductions in blood glucose levels in glucose-loaded mice. At doses of 50, 100, 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight, the extract reduced blood sugar levels by 22.9, 30.7, 45.4 and 46.1%, respectively compared to control animals. By comparison, a standard antihyperglycemic drug, glibenclamide, when administered at a dose of 10 mg per kg body weight, reduced blood glucose level by 48.9%. In analgesic activity tests, the extract at the above four doses reduced the number of abdominal writhings by 27.6, 37.9, 41.4, and 44.8%, respectively. A standard analgesic drug, aspirin, reduced the number of writhings by 31.0 and 51.7%, respectively, when administered at doses of 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight.
Conclusion
The results validate the folk medicinal use of the plant to alleviate pain. At the same time, the antihyperglycemic activity result suggests that the plant may be a potential source for blood sugar lowering drug(s).
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-169
PMCID: PMC4035668  PMID: 24885344
Antihyperglycemic; Alternanthera sessilis; Glucose tolerance; Non-narcotic analgesic; Amaranthaceae
12.  Effects of Gelam and Acacia honey acute administration on some biochemical parameters of Sprague Dawley rats 
Background
Since ancient times, honey has been used for medicinal purposes in many cultures; it is one of the oldest and most enduring substances used in wound management. Scientific evidence for its efficacy is widely studied, but systemic safety studies are still lacking. It is essential to study the impact of consumption of honey on the health and proper development of the consumer. Therefore, the present study was designed to observe the effects of acute administration (14 days) of Gelam honey (GH), a wild harvesting honey and Acacia honey (AH), a beekeeping honey, on male and female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats.
Methods
An acute oral study was performed following OECD test guideline 423, with minor modifications. In the study, GH, AH and sucrose (S) were administered at 2000 mg/kg body weight. Animals were observed for the next 14 days. Gross pathology was performed at the end of the study. Animals were observed for mortality, morbidity, body weight changes, feed and water intake. Clinical biochemistry, gross pathology, relative organ weight and histopathological examination were performed.
Results
Rats fed with honey did not exhibit any abnormal signs or deaths. Results showed a decrease in weight gain and energy efficiency, but significantly increased in total food intake and total calories in female rats fed with GH, compared to control (p < 0.05). Nevertheless, a significant increase in body weight was observed in male rats in all honey-treated groups. Male rats fed with AH significantly decreased in total food intake, total calories and energy efficiency. Both male and female rats fed with GH displayed a significant decrease in triglycerides compared to control group. Hepatic and renal function levels were within acceptable range. The gross necropsy analysis did not reveal changes in any of the organs examined.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that acute consumption of GH and AH at 2000 mg/kg body weight of male and female SD rats has some discrepancy effects on biochemical parameters but in line with OECD regulation. Gelam honey may have potential in controlling weight gain and triglyceride levels in female rats compared to Acacia honey. SD rats have some effect on biochemical parameters, an exploration of which would make for intriguing analysis.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-146
PMCID: PMC4028288  PMID: 24885010
Acacia honey; Acute consumption; Gelam honey; Sprague Dawley rats
13.  Comparison of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of 4-hydroxytamoxifen in combination with Tualang honey in MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells 
Background
The Malaysian Tualang honey (TH) is not only cytotoxic to human breast cancer cell lines but it has recently been reported to promote the anticancer activity induced by tamoxifen in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells suggesting its potential as an adjuvant for the chemotherapeutic agent. However, tamoxifen produces adverse effects that could be due to its ability to induce cellular DNA damage. Therefore, the study is undertaken to determine the possible modulation of the activity of 4-hydroxytamoxifen (OHT), an active metabolite of tamoxifen, by TH in non-cancerous epithelial cell line, MCF-10A, in comparison with MCF-7 cells.
Methods
MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells were treated with TH, OHT or the combination of both and cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity were determined using LDH and MTT assays, respectively. The effect on cellular DNA integrity was analysed by comet assay and the expression of DNA repair enzymes was determined by Western blotting.
Results
OHT exposure was cytotoxic to both cell lines whereas TH was cytotoxic to MCF-7 cells only. TH also significantly decreased the cytotoxic effect of OHT in MCF-10A but not in MCF-7 cells. TH induced proliferation of MCF10A cells but OHT caused growth inhibition that was abrogated by the concomitant treatment with TH. While TH enhanced the OHT-induced DNA damage in the cancer cells, it dampened the genotoxic effect of OHT in the non-cancerous cells. This was supported by the increased expression of DNA repair proteins, Ku70 and Ku80, in MCF-10A cells by TH.
Conclusion
The findings indicate that TH could afford protection of non-cancerous cells from the toxic effects of tamoxifen by increasing the efficiency of DNA repair mechanism in these cells.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-106
PMCID: PMC3994783  PMID: 24646375
Tualang honey; Tamoxifen; MCF-10A; MCF-7; Cytotoxicity; DNA damage; DNA repair enzymes
14.  Germinated brown rice and its bioactives modulate the activity of uterine cells in oophorectomised rats as evidenced by gross cytohistological and immunohistochemical changes 
Background
Germinated brown rice (GBR) is gaining momentum in the area of biomedical research due to its increased use as a nutraceutical for the management of diseases. The effect of GBR on the reproductive organs of oophorectomised rats was studied using the gross, cytological, histological and immunohistochemical changes, with the aim of reducing atrophy and dryness of the genital organs in menopause.
Methods
Experimental rats were divided into eight groups of six rats per group. Groups 1, 2 and 3 (sham-operated (SH), oophorectomised without treatment (OVX) and oophorectomised treated with 0.2 mg/kg oestrogen, respectively) served as the controls. The groups 4,5,6,7 and 8 were treated with 20 mg/kg Remifemin, 200 mg/kg of GBR, ASG, oryzanol and GABA, respectively. All treatments were administered orally, once daily for 8 weeks. Vaginal smear cytology was done at the 7th week on all the rats. The weight and dimensions of the uterus and vagina were determined after sacrifice of the rats. Uterine and vaginal tissues were taken for histology and Immunohistochemical examinations.
Results
GBR and its bioactives treated groups significantly increased the weight and length of both the uterus and the vagina when compared to Oophorectomised non-treated group (OVX-non-treated) (p < 0.05). Significant changes were observed in the ratio of cornified epithelial cells and number of leucocytes in the vaginal cytology between the oophorectomised non-treated and treated groups. There was also an increase in the luminal and glandular epithelial cells activity in the treated compared with the untreated groups histologically. Immunohistochemical staining showed specific proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in the luminal and glandular epithelium of the treated groups, which was absent in the OVX-non-treated group. GBR improved the length and weight of the uterus and also increased the number of glandular and luminal cells epithelia of the vagina.
Conclusion
GBR and its bioactives could be a potential alternative in improving reproductive system atrophy, dryness and discomfort during menopause.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-198
PMCID: PMC3750460  PMID: 23899096
Germinated brown rice; Menopause; Uterine atrophy; Vagina dryness; Cyto-histology; Immunohistochemistry
15.  Syzygium campanulatum korth methanolic extract inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth in nude mice 
Background
Syzygium campanulatum Korth (Myrtaceae) is an evergreen shrub rich in phenolics, flavonoid antioxidants, and betulinic acid. This study sought to investigate antiangiogenic and anti-colon cancer effects of S.C. standardized methanolic extract.
Methods
Betulinic acid was isolated from methanolic extract by crystallization and chromatography techniques. S.C. methanolic extract was analyzed by UV-Vis spectrophotometry, FTIR, LC-MS, and HPLC. Antiangiogenic effect was studied on rat aortic rings, matrigel tube formation, cell proliferation and migration, and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Antitumor effect was studied using a subcutaneous tumor model of HCT 116 colorectal carcinoma cells established in nude mice.
Results
Analysis by HPLC, LC-MS and FTIR confirm presence of betulinic acid in S.C. methanolic extract. Quantitative analysis by HPLC indicates presence of betulinic acid in S.C. extract at 5.42 ± 0.09% (w/w). Antiangiogenesis study showed potent inhibition of microvessels outgrowth in rat aortic rings, and studies on normal and cancer cells did not show any significant cytotoxic effect. Antiangiogenic effect was further confirmed by inhibition of tube formation on matrigel matrix that involves human endothelial cells (IC50 = 17.6 ± 2.9 μg/ml). S.C. extract also inhibited migration of endothelial cells and suppressed expression of VEGF. In vivo antiangiogenic study showed inhibition of new blood vessels in chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), and in vivo antitumor study showed significant inhibition of tumor growth due to reduction of intratumor blood vessels and induction of cell death.
Conclusion
Collectively, our results indicate S. campanulatum as antiangiogenic and antitumor candidate, and a new source of betulinic acid.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-168
PMCID: PMC3717079  PMID: 23842450
16.  Acute toxicity, brine shrimp cytotoxicity, anthelmintic and relaxant potentials of fruits of Rubus fruticosus Agg 
Background
Rubus fruticosus is used in tribal medicine as anthelmintic and an antispasmodic. In the current work, we investigated the anthelmintic and antispasmodic activities of crude methanol extract of fruits of R. fruticosus on scientific grounds. Acute toxicity and brine shrimp cytotoxicity activity of the extract were also performed.
Methods
Acute toxicity study of crude methanol extract of R. fruticosus was performed on mice. In vitro Brine shrimp cytotoxicity assay was performed on shrimps of Artemia salina. In vitro Anthelmintic activity was tested against Raillietina spiralis and Ascaridia galli. Relaxant activities were tested on spontaneous rabbits’ jejunal preparations. Calcium chloride curves were constructed to elucidate possible mode of action of the extract.
Results
LD 50 of the extract for acute toxicity studies was 887.75 ± 9.22 mg/ml. While CC 50 of the extract for Brine shrimps cytotoxicity assay was 13.28 ± 2.47 μg/ml. Test samples of crude methanolic extract of R. fruticosus (Rf.Cr) at concentration 20 mg/ml showed excellent anthelmintic activity against Raillietina spiralis. Anthelmintic activity was 1.37 times of albendazole against the Raillietina spiralis at concentration 40 mg/ml. At higher concentration (40 mg/ml), Rf.Cr has 89. 83% parasiticidal activity. The mean EC50 relaxation activity for spontaneous and KCl-induced contractions was 7.96 ± 0.1 and 6.45 ± 0.29 mg/ml, respectively. EC 50 (Log[Ca++]M) for control calcium chloride curves was −1.75 ± 0.01 vs. EC 50 −1.78 ± 0.06 in the presence of 3.0 mg/ml of Rf.Cr. Similarly, EC 50(Log[Ca++]M) in the absence and presence of verapamil (0.1 μM) were −2.46 ± 0.01 and −1.72 ± 0.02, respectively.
Conclusions
The anthelmintic and relaxant activities explained traditional uses of R. fruticosus on scientific grounds. Relaxant activity follows the inhibition of voltage gated channels. Although the plant extract has cytotoxic effects, yet it is evident from acute toxicity study that it is safe in concentration 100 mg/kg. Further work is required to isolate pharmacologically active compounds.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-138
PMCID: PMC3688410  PMID: 23773797
Rubus fruticosus; Anthelmintic; Ascaridia galli; Raillietina spiralis; Jejunum; Antispasmodic
17.  Antioxidant and relaxant activity of fractions of crude methanol extract and essential oil of Artemisia macrocephala jacquem 
Background
The current work is an attempt to know about additional chemical profile of Artemisia macrocephala. Antioxidant activity is performed as the plant is reported to contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity in general. Relaxant activity of fractions of crude methanol extract is performed to know in which fraction(s) the relaxant constituents concentrate as we have already reported that its crude methanol has relaxant activity. Antispasmodic activity of essential oil is also performed as the plant is rich with essential oil.
Methods
Phytochemical profile of the plant is performed. Free radical scavenging activity was performed using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH). Relaxation activity tests of fractions and essential oil of Artemisia macrocephala were performed on sections of rabbits’ jejunum. Calcium chloride curves were constructed to investigate the mode of action of plant extracts and its essential oil.
Results
We detected carbohydrates, flavonoids and saponins in A. macrocephala. At concentration 0.005 mg/ml, free radical scavenging activity of ethyl acetate fraction was 121.5 ± 2.02% of ascorbic acid.
n- hexane fraction relaxed spontaneous activity with EC50 0.74 ± 0.04 mg/ml. Essential oil relaxed spontaneous activity with EC50 0.8 ± 0.034 mg/ml. Chloroform and ethylacetate fractions relaxed both spontaneous and KCl-induced contractions suggesting its possible mode through calcium channels. Constructing calcium chloride curves, the test fractions showed a right shift in the EC50. Essential oil at concentration 0.1 mg/ml produced right shift with EC50 (log [Ca++]M) -2.08 ± 0.08 vs. control with EC50 -2.47 ± 0.07. The curve resembled the curves of verapamil, which caused a right shift at 0.1 μM, with EC50 -1.7 ±0.07 vs. control EC50 (log [Ca++]M) -2.45 ± 0.06.
Conclusions
Crude methanol and its fractions (ethyl acetate, chloroform and butanol) are rich sources of antioxidant constituents. The relaxing constituents following calcium channel blocking mechanisms are more concentrated in n-hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions that warrant isolation.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-96
PMCID: PMC3656809  PMID: 23642022
18.  Hepatoprotective effect of ethanolic extract of Curcuma longa on thioacetamide induced liver cirrhosis in rats 
Background
Hepatology research has focused on developing traditional therapies as pharmacological medicines to treat liver cirrhosis. Thus, this study evaluated mechanisms of the hepatoprotective activity of Curcuma longa rhizome ethanolic extract (CLRE) on thioacetamide-induced liver cirrhosis in rats.
Methods
The hepatoprotective effect of CLRE was measured in a rat model of thioacetamide-induced liver cirrhosis over 8 weeks. Hepatic cytochrome P450 2E1 and serum levels of TGF-β1 and TNF-α were evaluated. Oxidative stress was measured by malondialdehyde, urinary 8-hydroxyguanosine and nitrotyrosine levels. The protective activity of CLRE free-radical scavenging mechanisms were evaluated through antioxidant enzymes. Protein expression of pro-apoptotic Bax and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins in animal blood sera was studied and confirmed by immunohistochemistry of Bax, Bcl2 proteins and proliferating cell nuclear antigen.
Results
Histopathology, immunohistochemistry and liver biochemistry were significantly lower in the Curcuma longa-treated groups compared with controls. CLRE induced apoptosis, inhibited hepatocytes proliferation but had no effect on hepatic CYP2E1 levels.
Conclusion
The progression of liver cirrhosis could be inhibited by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of CLRE and the normal status of the liver could be preserved.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-56
PMCID: PMC3605171  PMID: 23496995
Curcuma longa; Antioxidant enzymes; Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1); Histology; Oxidative stress; Immunohistochemistry
19.  Murraya koenigii leaf extract inhibits proteasome activity and induces cell death in breast cancer cells 
Background
Inhibition of the proteolytic activity of 26S proteasome, the protein-degrading machine, is now considered a novel and promising approach for cancer therapy. Interestingly, proteasome inhibitors have been demonstrated to selectively kill cancer cells and also enhance the sensitivity of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents. Recently, polyphenols/flavonoids have been reported to inhibit proteasome activity. Murraya koenigii Spreng, a medicinally important herb of Indian origin, has been used for centuries in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Here we show that Murraya koenigii leaves (curry leaves), a rich source of polyphenols, inhibit the proteolytic activity of the cancer cell proteasome, and cause cell death.
Methods
Hydro-methanolic extract of curry leaves (CLE) was prepared and its total phenolic content [TPC] determined by, the Folin-Ciocalteau’s method. Two human breast carcinoma cell lines: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 and a normal human lung fibroblast cell line, WI-38 were used for the studies. Cytotoxicity of the CLE was assessed by the MTT assay. We studied the effect of CLE on growth kinetics using colony formation assay. Growth arrest was assessed by cell cycle analysis and apoptosis by Annexin-V binding using flow cytometry. Inhibition of the endogenous 26S proteasome was studied in intact cells and cell extracts using substrates specific to 20S proteasomal enzymes.
Results
CLE decreased cell viability and altered the growth kinetics in both the breast cancer cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. It showed a significant arrest of cells in the S phase albeit in cancer cells only. Annexin V binding data suggests that cell death was via the apoptotic pathway in both the cancer cell lines. CLE treatment significantly decreased the activity of the 26S proteasome in the cancer but not normal cells.
Conclusions
Our study suggests M. koenigii leaves to be a potent source of proteasome inhibitors that lead to cancer cell death. Therefore, identification of active component(s) from the leaf extract could lead to the development of anti-cancer agents which could be useful in the treatment of different types of cancers.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-7
PMCID: PMC3549284  PMID: 23302496
Murraya koenigii; 26S proteasome; Breast cancer; Polyphenols; Methanolic extract; Proteasome inhibitor
20.  Antiangiogenesis and antioxidant activity of ethanol extracts of Pithecellobium jiringa 
Background
Angiogenesis plays a critical role in embryonic development and various physiological processes. However, excessive angiogenesis is associated with several pathological conditions including cancer. Pithecellobium jiringa (Jack) Prain is a traditional medicinal plant from the family Leguminosae. It is native to the Southeast Asia, where it has been used traditionally for treatment of various ailments such as hypertension and diabetes. The present work is aimed to study antioxidant and antiangiogenesis activities of P. jiringa ethanol extracts.
Methods
P. jiringa fruit rinds were extracted with ethanol and 50% ethanol. The antioxidant property was analysed using, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl free radical scavenging assay. Phytochemical analysis was performed using thin layer chromatography and colorimetric methods. Then, cell growth inhibition was studied against a panel of human cell lines by MTT test. In vitro inhibition of angiogenesis was studied by the following assays: isolated rat aortic rings cell viability, colony formation, endothelial cell migration, endothelial tube formation on matrigel, and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor by endothelial cells. In vivo antiangiogenesis effect was studied by utilising fertilised chick embryos assay. The results were statistically analysed by analysis of variance.
Results
Ethanolic and 50% hydro-ethanolic extracts showed relatively high concentration of total phenolics associated with potent antioxidant activity. The rat aortic rings study conducted showed potent inhibition of the microvessels outgrowth with IC50s 5.27 ± 0.81 μg/ml (ethanolic) and 4.45 ± 0.63 μg/ml (50% hydro-ethanolic). Both extracts arrested the growth of human endothelial cells via down-regulation of VEGF expression, leading to inhibition of other angiogenesis cascades including migration of endothelial cells, and formation of capillary network on matrigel matrix. The extracts also inhibited the neovascularisation of chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane.
Conclusions
P. jiringa extracts inhibit angiogenesis by blocking the VEGF expression thus inhibiting endothelial cells proliferation, migration and differentiation most likely due to presence of the antioxidant phenolics.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-210
PMCID: PMC3522529  PMID: 23126282
Pithecellobium jiringa; Antiangiogenesis; Antioxidant; Phytochemical analysis
21.  In vitro and in vivo anti-colon cancer effects of Garcinia mangostana xanthones extract 
Background
Xanthones are a group of oxygen-containing heterocyclic compounds with remarkable pharmacological effects such as anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities.
Methods
A xanthones extract (81% α-mangostin and 16% γ-mangostin), was prepared by crystallization of a toluene extract of G. mangostana fruit rinds and was analyzed by LC-MS. Anti-colon cancer effect was investigated on HCT 116 human colorectal carcinoma cells including cytotoxicity, apoptosis, anti-tumorigenicity, and effect on cell signalling pathways. The in vivo anti-colon cancer activity was also investigated on subcutaneous tumors established in nude mice.
Results
The extract showed potent cytotoxicity (median inhibitory concentration 6.5 ± 1.0 μg/ml), due to induction of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Three key steps in tumor metastasis including the cell migration, cell invasion and clonogenicity, were also inhibited. The extract and α-mangostin up-regulate the MAPK/ERK, c-Myc/Max, and p53 cell signalling pathways. The xanthones extract, when fed to nude mice, caused significant growth inhibition of the subcutaneous tumor of HCT 116 colorectal carcinoma cells.
Conclusions
Our data suggest new mechanisms of action of α-mangostin and the G. mangostana xanthones, and suggest the xanthones extract of as a potential anti-colon cancer candidate.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-104
PMCID: PMC3457913  PMID: 22818000
22.  Anthelmintic and relaxant activities of Verbascum Thapsus Mullein 
Background
Verbascum thapsus is used in tribal medicine as an antispasmodic, anti-tubercular agent and wormicide. In this study, we investigated the antispasmodic and anthelmintic activities of crude aqueous methanolic extract of the plant.
Methods
V. thapsus extracts were tested against roundworms (Ascaridia galli) and tapeworms (Raillietina spiralis). Each species of worm was placed into a negative control group, an albendazole treatment group, or a V. thapsus treatment group, and the time taken for paralysis and death was determined. In addition, relaxation activity tests were performed on sections of rabbit's jejunum. Plant extracts were tested on KCl-induced contractions and the relaxation activities were quantified against atropine. V. thapsus calcium chloride curves were constructed to investigate the mode of action of the plant extracts.
Results
We detected flavonoids, saponins, tannins, terpenoids, glycosides, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fixed oils in V. thapsus. For both species of worm, paralysis occurred fastest at the highest concentration of extract. The relative index values for paralysis in A. galli were 4.58, 3.41 and 2.08, at concentrations of 10, 20 and 40 mg/ml of plant extract, respectively. The relative index for death in A. galli suggested that V. thapsus extract is wormicidal at high concentration. Similarly, the relative indexes for paralysis and death in R. spiralis suggested that the extract is a more potent wormicidal agent than albendazole. The mean EC50 relaxation activity values for spontaneous and KCl induced contractions were 7.5 ± 1.4 mg/ml (6.57-8.01, n = 6) and 7.9 ± 0.41 mg/ml (7.44-8.46, n = 6), respectively. The relaxation activity of the extract was 11.42 ± 2, 17.0 ± 3, 28.5 ± 4, and 128.0 ± 7% of the maximum observed for atropine at corresponding concentrations. The calcium chloride curves showed that V. thapsus extracts (3 mg/ml), had a mean EC50 (log molar [calcium]) value of -1.9 ± 0.06 (-1.87 - -1.98, n = 6) vs. control EC50 = -2.5 ± 0.12 (-2.37 - -2.56, n = 6), whereas the verapamil (0.1 μM) EC50 was -1.7 ± 0.1 (-1.6 - -1.8, n = 6) vs. control EC50 = -2.4 ± 0.09 (-2.3 - -2.47, n = 5).
Conclusions
Our results suggest that V. thapsus, which is currently used by some tribes in the Malakand region of Pakistan, has anthelmintic and antispasmodic value.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-29
PMCID: PMC3350428  PMID: 22463730
23.  Cytotoxic and anthelmintic potential of crude saponins isolated from Achillea Wilhelmsii C. Koch and Teucrium Stocksianum boiss 
Background
Saponins isolated from plant sources have a number of traditional and industrial applications. Saponins have pharmacological effects like anti-inflammatory, molluscicidal, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antidiabetic, anticancer, anticonvulsant, anthelmintic, antitussive and cytotoxic activities. The current work describes the anthelmintic and cytotoxic activities of crude saponins of Achillea Wilhelmsii and Teucrium Stocksianum as these plants are rich with saponins.
Methods
Brine shrimp cytotoxic activity of crude saponins was determined by Meyer et al. (1982) at test concentrations of 1000 μg/ml, 100 μg/ml, 10 μg/ml, 7.5 μg/ml, 5.0 μg/ml, 2.5 μg/ml and 1.25 μg/ml. Percentage mortality of test concentrations was determined. Similarly, in vitro anthelmintic activity was determined against roundworms, tapeworms and earthworms. Albendazole and piperazine citrate at concentration 10 mg/ml were used as standard anthelmintic drugs.
Results
Crude saponins of Achillea wilhelmsii (CSA) and Teucrium stocksianum (CST) had, respectively, cytotoxic activity with LC50 values 2.3 ± 0.16 and 5.23 ± 0. 34 μg/ml. For in vitro anthelmintic activity, time for paralysis and death of parasites (parasiticidal activity) was noted. At concentration 40 mg/ml, crude saponins of Achillea wilhelmsii are 1.96 and 2.12 times more potent than albendazole against Pheretima posthuma and Raillietina spiralis, respectively. Similarly, at concentration 40 mg/ml, crude saponins of Teucrium stocksianum (CST) has 1.89, 1.96 and 1.37 times more parasiticidal activity than albendazole against Pheretima posthuma, Raillietina spiralis and Ascardia galli, respectively.
Conclusion
Crude saponins of Achillea wilhelmsii and Teucrium stocksianum have cytotoxic and anthelmintic activity. The crude saponins may be excellent sources of cytotoxic and anthelmintic constituents that warrant its isolation and purification for new drug development.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-106
PMCID: PMC3270000  PMID: 22051373
24.  Acute toxicity, brine shrimp cytotoxicity and relaxant activity of fruits of callistemon citrinus curtis 
Background
Callistemon citrinus Curtis belongs to family Myrtaceae that has a great medicinal importance. In our previous work, fruits of Callistemon citrinus were reported to have relaxant (antispasmodic) activity. The current work describes the screening of fractions of the crude methanol extract for tracing spasmolytic constituents so that it shall help us for isolation of bioactive compounds. Acute toxicity and brine shrimp cytotoxicity of crude methanol extract are also performed to standardize it.
Methods
The crude methanol extract was obtained by maceration with distilled water (500 ml) three times and fractionated successively with n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate and n-butanol (300 ml of each solvent). Phytochemical analysis for crude methanol extract was performed. Acute toxicity studies were performed in mice. Brine shrimp cytotoxicity studies were performed to determine its cytotoxicity and standardize it. In other series of experiments, rabbits' jejunum preparations were used in screening for possible relaxant activities of various fractions. They were applied in concentrations of 0.01, 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, 1.0, 3.0, 5.0 and 10.0 mg/ml on spontaneous rabbits' jejunum preparations. In similar fashion, fractions were also tested on KCl (80 mM) -induced contractions. Calcium chloride curves were constructed in K-rich Tyrode's solution. The effects of various fractions were tested on calcium chloride curves at concentrations 1.0, 3.0, 5.0 and 10.0 mg/ml. Curves of verapamil used as reference drug at concentration 0.1 μM and 0.3 μM were also constructed. The curves were compared with their respective controls for possible right shift.
Results
Methanol extract tested strongly positive for saponins and tannins. However, it tested mild positive for presence of proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates and phenolic compounds. LD50 value for crude methanol extract is 476.25 ± 10.3 (470-481, n = 4) mg/ml. Similarly, EC50 value for brine shrimp cytotoxicity is 65.5 ± 7.28 (60.8- 69.4, n = 4) mg/ml. All the fractions relaxed the spontaneous and KCl-induced contractions. EC50 values (mg/ml) for effects of ethyl acetate fraction on spontaneous and KCl induced contractions are 2.62 ± 0.78 (2.15-3.0, n = 4) and 3.72 ± 0.86 (3.38-4.28, n = 4) respectively. Respective EC50 values (mg/ml) for n-butanol fraction are 3.59 ± 0.2(3.07-3.9, n = 4) for spontaneous, and 5.57 ± 0.2 (5.07-6.11, n = 4) for KCl- induced contractions. EC50 value for control calcium chloride curve (without extract) is -2.73 ± 0.19 (-2.6 - -2.81, n = 4) while EC50 for curves treated with 5.0 mg/ml of chloroform is -2.22 ± 0.02 (-2.16 - -2.3, n = 4). EC50 value for ethyl acetate treated (1.0 mg/ml) tissues is -1.95 ± 0.10 (-1.88 - -2.0, n = 4) vs. control EC50 = -2.71 ± 0.08 (-2.66 - -2.76, n = 4). All the fractions, except n-hexane, showed a right shift like that of verapamil (EC50 = -1.72 ± 0.15 (-1.62 - -1.8, n = 4) vs. Control EC50 = -2.41 ± 0.06 (-2.38 - - 2.44, n = 4), a standard drug that blocks voltage operated calcium channels.
Conclusion
Relaxant constituents were more concentrated in ethylacetate fraction followed by chloroform, n -butanol and aqueous fractions that warrant for its isolation. The crude methanol extract is safe at concentration 250 mg/ml or below and results of brine shrimp cytotoxicity assay imply the plant specie may be a source of cytotoxic agents.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-99
PMCID: PMC3216858  PMID: 22024247
25.  Antiproliferative effect of Tualang honey on oral squamous cell carcinoma and osteosarcoma cell lines 
Background
The treatment of oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) and human osteosarcoma (HOS) includes surgery and/or radiotherapy which often lead to reduced quality of life. This study was aimed to study the antiproliferative activity of local honey (Tualang) on OSCC and HOS cell lines.
Methods
Several concentrations of Tualang honey (1% - 20%) were applied on OSCC and HOS cell lines for 3, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours. Morphological characteristics were observed under light and fluorescent microscope. Cell viability was assessed using MTT assay and the optical density for absorbance values in each experiment was measured at 570 nm by an ELISA reader. Detection of cellular apoptosis was done using the Annexin V-FITC Apoptosis Detection Kit.
Results
Morphological appearance showed apoptotic cellular changes like becoming rounded, reduction in cell number, blebbed membrane and apoptotic nuclear changes like nuclear shrinkage, chromatin condensation and fragmented nucleus on OSCC and HOS cell lines. Cell viability assay showed a time and dose-dependent inhibitory effect of honey on both cell lines. The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) for OSCC and HOS cell lines was found to be 4% and 3.5% respectively. The maximum inhibition of cell growth of ≥80% was obtained at 15% for both cell lines. Early apoptosis was evident by flow cytometry where percentage of early apoptotic cells increased in dose and time dependent manner.
Conclusion
Tualang honey showed antiproliferative effect on OSCC and HOS cell lines by inducing early apoptosis.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-49
PMCID: PMC2949736  PMID: 20840769

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