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1.  Cytotoxic Activity of Kenaf Seed Oils from Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Fluid Extraction towards Human Colorectal Cancer (HT29) Cell Lines 
Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) from the family Malvaceae, is a valuable fiber plant native to India and Africa and is currently planted as the fourth commercial crop in Malaysia. Kenaf seed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, phytosterol such as β-sitosterol, vitamin E, and other antioxidants with chemopreventive properties. Kenaf seeds oil (KSO) was from supercritical carbon dioxide extraction fluid (SFE) at 9 different permutations of parameters based on range of pressures from 200 to 600 bars and temperature from 40 to 80°C. They were 200/40, 200/60, 200/80, 400/40, 400/60, 400/80, 600/40, 600/60, and 600/80. Extraction from 9 parameters of KSO-SFE was screened for cytotoxicity towards human colorectal cancer cell lines (HT29) and mouse embryonic fibroblast (NIH/3T3) cell lines using MTS assay. KSO-SFE at 600/40 showed the strongest cytotoxicity towards HT29 with IC50 of 200 µg/mL. The IC50 for NIH/3T3 was not detected even at highest concentration employed. Cell cycle analysis showed a significant increase in the accumulation of KSO-SFE-treated cells at sub-G1 phase, indicating the induction of apoptosis by KSO-SFE. Further apoptosis induction was confirmed by Annexin V/PI and AO/PI staining.
PMCID: PMC3626181  PMID: 23606884
2.  Antidiabetic Properties of Germinated Brown Rice: A Systematic Review 
Diet is an important variable in the course of type 2 diabetes, which has generated interest in dietary options like germinated brown rice (GBR) for effective management of the disease among rice-consuming populations. In vitro data and animal experiments show that GBR has potentials as a functional diet for managing this disease, and short-term clinical studies indicate encouraging results. Mechanisms for antidiabetic effects of GBR due to bioactive compounds like γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), γ-oryzanol, dietary fibre, phenolics, vitamins, acylated steryl β-glucoside, and minerals include antihyperglycemia, low insulin index, antioxidative effect, antithrombosis, antihypertensive effect, hypocholesterolemia, and neuroprotective effects. The evidence so far suggests that there may be enormous benefits for diabetics in rice-consuming populations if white rice is replaced with GBR. However, long-term clinical studies are still needed to verify these findings on antidiabetic effects of GBR. Thus, we present a review on the antidiabetic properties of GBR from relevant preclinical and clinical studies, in order to provide detailed information on this subject for researchers to review the potential of GBR in combating this disease.
PMCID: PMC3529503  PMID: 23304216
3.  Comparison on the Effects and Safety of Tualang Honey and Tribestan in Sperm Parameters, Erectile Function, and Hormonal Profiles among Oligospermic Males 
Introduction. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of Tualang honey on sperm parameters, erectile function, and hormonal and safety profiles. Methodology. A randomized control trial was done using Tualang honey (20 grams) and Tribestan (750 mg) over a period of 12 weeks. Sperm parameters including sperm concentration, motility, and morphology were analyzed and erectile function was assessed using IIEF-5 questionnaire. Hormonal profiles of testosterone, FSH, and LH were studied. The volunteers were randomized into two groups and the outcomes were analyzed using SPSS version 18. Results. A total of 66 participants were involved. A significant increment of mean sperm concentration (P < 0.001), motility (P = 0.015) and morphology (P = 0.008) was seen in Tualang honey group. In Tribestan group, a significant increment of mean sperm concentration (P = 0.007), and morphology (P = 0.009) was seen. No significant differences of sperm concentration, motility, and morphology were seen between Tualang honey and Tribestan group and similar results were also seen in erectile function and hormonal profile. All safety profiles were normal and no adverse event was reported. Conclusion. Tualang honey effect among oligospermic males was comparable with Tribestan in improving sperm concentration, motility, and morphology. The usage of Tualang honey was also safe with no reported adverse event.
PMCID: PMC4253697  PMID: 25505918
4.  Antioxidative Effects of Germinated Brown Rice-Derived Extracts on H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress in HepG2 Cells 
The antioxidant properties of germinated brown rice (GBR) are likely mediated by multiple bioactives. To test this hypothesis, HepG2 cells pretreated with GBR extracts, rich in acylated steryl glycoside (ASG), gamma amino butyric acid GABA), phenolics or oryzanol, were incubated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and their hydroxyl radical (OH•) scavenging capacities and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) generation were evaluated. Results showed that GBR-extracts increased OH• scavenging activities in both cell-free medium and posttreatment culture media, suggesting that the extracts were both direct- and indirect-acting against OH•. The levels of TBARS in the culture medium after treatment were also reduced by all the extracts. In addition, H2O2 produced transcriptional changes in p53, JNK, p38 MAPK, AKT, BAX, and CDK4 that were inclined towards apoptosis, while GBR-extracts showed some transcriptional changes (upregulation of BAX and p53) that suggested an inclination for apoptosis although other changes (upregulation of antioxidant genes, AKT, JNK, and p38 MAPK) suggested that GBR-extracts favored survival of the HepG2 cells. Our findings show that GBR bioactive-rich extracts reduce oxidative stress through improvement in antioxidant capacity, partly mediated through transcriptional regulation of antioxidant and prosurvival genes.
PMCID: PMC4241308  PMID: 25431609
5.  Safety Evaluation of Oral Toxicity of Carica papaya Linn. Leaves: A Subchronic Toxicity Study in Sprague Dawley Rats 
The subchronic toxicity effect of the leaf extract of Carica papaya Linn. in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats was investigated in this study. The extract was prepared by dissolving the freeze dried extract of the leaves in distilled water and was administered orally to SD rats (consisted of 10 rats/sex/group) at 0 (control), 0.01, 0.14, and 2 g/kg body weight (BW) for 13 weeks. General observation, mortality, and food and water intake were monitored throughout the experimental period. Hematological and biochemical parameters, relative organ weights, and histopathological changes were evaluated. The study showed that leaf extract when administered for 13 weeks did not cause any mortality and abnormalities of behavior or changes in body weight as well as food and water intake. There were no significant differences observed in hematology parameters between treatment and control groups; however significant differences were seen in biochemistry values, for example, LDH, creatinine, total protein, and albumin. However, these changes were not associated with histopathological changes. In conclusion, the results suggested that daily oral administration of rats with C. papaya leaf extract for 13 weeks at a dose up to fourteen times the levels employed in traditional medicine practice did not cause any significant toxic effect.
PMCID: PMC4228719  PMID: 25530788
6.  Isolation, Characterization, Crystal Structure Elucidation, and Anticancer Study of Dimethyl Cardamonin, Isolated from Syzygium campanulatum Korth 
Syzygium campanulatum Korth is an equatorial, evergreen, aboriginal shrub of Malaysia. Conventionally it has been used as a stomachic. However, in the currently conducted study dimethyl cardamonin or 2′,4′-dihydroxy-6′-methoxy-3′,5′-dimethylchalcone (DMC) was isolated from S. campanulatum Korth, leaf extract. The structural characterization of DMC was carried out by making use of various techniques including UV, IR, NMR spectral followed by LC-MS, and X-ray crystallographic techniques. For determining the purity of compound, highly effective techniques including TLC, HPLC, and melting point were used. The cytotoxicity of DMC and three different extracts of S. campanulatum was evaluated against human colon cancer cell line (HT-29) by three different assays. DMC and ethanolic extract revealed potent and dose-dependent cytotoxic activity on the cancer cell line with IC50 12.6 and 90.1 µg/mL, respectively. Quite astonishingly to our knowledge, this is the very first report on S. campanulatum as being a rich source (3.5%) of DMC, X-ray crystallography, and anticancer activity on human colon cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4228816  PMID: 25530783
7.  The Effects of Herbs and Fruits on Leukaemia 
In developing countries, herbal therapy is the first and basis form of treatment for most types of diseases. About 75–80% of the world's population prefers herbal therapy as a major treatment due to its better adequacy and satisfactoriness, which enhance human body's symmetry with minimal side effects. Fruits and plants have been presented from the past as promising tools in becoming a natural anticancer agents. Many of these plant extracts are currently used in cancer therapy and prevention. This review paper will particularly explore and emphasize on herbs and fruits used in the treatment of the leukaemia.
PMCID: PMC4163312  PMID: 25250054
8.  Autonomic Nervous System Mediates the Hypotensive Effects of Aqueous and Residual Methanolic Extracts of Syzygium polyanthum (Wight) Walp. var. polyanthum Leaves in Anaesthetized Rats 
Syzygium polyanthum (Wight) Walp. var. polyanthum leaves are consumed as a traditional Malay treatment of hypertension. This study investigates hypotensive potential of aqueous (AESP) and residual methanolic (met-AESP) extracts of S. polyanthum leaves and possible involvement of autonomic receptors. AESP and met-AESP (20 to 100 mg/kg) were intravenously administered into anaesthetized Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) rats. Blood pressure and heart were monitored for 20 min. AESP and met-AESP induced significant dose-dependent hypotension, but only 100 mg/kg AESP caused mild bradycardia (n = 5). AESP-induced hypotension was more potent than that of met-AESP in WKY. AESP has a faster onset time than that of met-AESP in both WKY and SHR. However, met-AESP-induced hypotension was more sustained than that of AESP in SHR. Blockages of autonomic ganglion and α-adrenergic receptors using hexamethonium and phentolamine (n = 5 for each group) partially attenuated AESP-induced hypotension, suggesting involvement of α-adrenergic receptors. Blockages of autonomic ganglion, β-adrenergic, cholinergic receptors, and nitric oxide production using hexamethonium, propranolol, atropine, and N-ω-nitro-l arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (n = 5 for each group) partially attenuated met-AESP-induced hypotension, suggesting involvement of β-adrenergic and cholinergic receptors via nitric oxide production.
PMCID: PMC3878421  PMID: 24454508
9.  Stevioside from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni Increases Insulin Sensitivity in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes 
Stevioside from Stevia rebaudiana has been reported to exert antihyperglycemic effects in both rat and human subjects. There have been few studies on these effects in vitro. In this paper, radioactive glucose uptake assay was implemented in order to assess improvements in insulin sensitivity in 3T3-L1 cells by elevation of glucose uptake following treatment with stevioside. Oil Red-O staining and MTT assay were utilized to confirm adipocyte differentiation and cell viability, respectively. Findings from this research showed a significant increase in absorbance values in mature adipocytes following Oil Red-O staining, confirming the differentiation process. Stevioside was noncytotoxic to 3T3-L1 cells as cell viability was reduced by a maximum of 17%, making it impossible to determine its IC50. Stevioside increased glucose uptake activities by 2.1 times (p < 0.001) in normal conditions and up to 4.4 times (p < 0.001) in insulin-resistant states. At times, this increase was higher than that seen in positive control group treated with rosiglitazone maleate, an antidiabetic agent. Expressions of pY20 and p-IRS1 which were measured via Western blot were improved by stevioside treatment. In conclusion, stevioside has direct effects on 3T3-L1 insulin sensitivity via increase in glucose uptake and enhanced expression of proteins involved in insulin-signalling pathway.
PMCID: PMC3874339  PMID: 24391675
10.  Antioxidative and Cardioprotective Properties of Anthocyanins from Defatted Dabai Extracts 
This study aimed to determine anthocyanins and their antioxidative and cardioprotective properties in defatted dabai parts. Anthocyanins in crude extracts and extract fractions of defatted dabai peel and pericarp were quantified using UHPLC, while their antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress inhibition ability were evaluated by using DPPH and CUPRAC assays as well as linoleic acid oxidation system, hemoglobin oxidation, and PARP-1 inhibition ELISA. Cardioprotective effect of the defatted dabai peel extract was evaluated using hypercholesterolemic-induced New Zealand white rabbits. Six anthocyanins were detected in the defatted dabai peel, with the highest antioxidant capacities and oxidative stress inhibition effect compared to the other part. The defatted dabai peel extract has also inhibited lipid peroxidation (plasma MDA) and elevated cellular antioxidant enzymes (SOD and GPx) in the tested animal model. Major anthocyanin (cyanidin-3-glucoside) and other anthocyanins (pelargonidin-3-glucoside, malvidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-galactoside, cyanidin-3-arabinoside, and peonidin-3-glucoside) detected in the defatted dabai peel are potential future nutraceuticals with promising medicinal properties.
PMCID: PMC3867864  PMID: 24368926
11.  Potential Roles of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni in Abrogating Insulin Resistance and Diabetes: A Review 
Insulin resistance is a key factor in metabolic disorders like hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, which are promoted by obesity and may later lead to Type II diabetes mellitus. In recent years, researchers have identified links between insulin resistance and many noncommunicable illnesses other than diabetes. Hence, studying insulin resistance is of particular importance in unravelling the pathways employed by such diseases. In this review, mechanisms involving free fatty acids, adipocytokines such as TNFα and PPARγ and serine kinases like JNK and IKKβ, asserted to be responsible in the development of insulin resistance, will be discussed. Suggested mechanisms for actions in normal and disrupted states were also visualised in several manually constructed diagrams to capture an overall view of the insulin-signalling pathway and its related components. The underlying constituents of medicinal significance found in the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant (among other plants that potentiate antihyperglycemic activities) were explored in further depth. Understanding these factors and their mechanisms may be essential for comprehending the progression of insulin resistance towards the development of diabetes mellitus.
PMCID: PMC3845826  PMID: 24324517
12.  Antidiabetic and Hypolipidemic Activities of Curculigo latifolia Fruit:Root Extract in High Fat Fed Diet and Low Dose STZ Induced Diabetic Rats 
Curculigo latifolia fruit is used as alternative sweetener while root is used as alternative treatment for diuretic and urinary problems. The antidiabetic and hypolipidemic activities of C. latifolia fruit:root aqueous extract in high fat diet (HFD) and 40 mg streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats through expression of genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolisms were investigated. Diabetic rats were treated with C. latifolia fruit:root extract for 4 weeks. Plasma glucose, insulin, adiponectin, lipid profiles, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT), urea, and creatinine levels were measured before and after treatments. Regulations of selected genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolisms were determined. Results showed the significant (P < 0.05) increase in body weight, high density lipoprotein (HDL), insulin, and adiponectin levels and decreased glucose, total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low density lipoprotein (LDL), urea, creatinine, ALT, and GGT levels in diabetic rats after 4 weeks treatment. Furthermore, C. latifolia fruit:root extract significantly increased the expression of IRS-1, IGF-1, GLUT4, PPARα, PPARγ, AdipoR1, AdipoR2, leptin, LPL, and lipase genes in adipose and muscle tissues in diabetic rats. These results suggest that C. latifolia fruit:root extract exerts antidiabetic and hypolipidemic effects through altering regulation genes in glucose and lipid metabolisms in diabetic rats.
PMCID: PMC3671281  PMID: 23762147
13.  Inclusion Complex of Zerumbone with Hydroxypropyl-β-Cyclodextrin Induces Apoptosis in Liver Hepatocellular HepG2 Cells via Caspase 8/BID Cleavage Switch and Modulating Bcl2/Bax Ratio 
Zerumbone (ZER) isolated from Zingiber zerumbet was previously encapsulated with hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD) to enhance ZER's solubility in water, thus making it highly tolerable in the human body. The anticancer effects of this new ZER-HPβCD inclusion complex via apoptosis cell death were assessed in this study for the first time in liver hepatocellular cells, HepG2. Apoptosis was ascertained by morphological study, nuclear stain, and sub-G1 cell population accumulation with G2/M arrest. Further investigations showed the release of cytochrome c and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, proving mitochondrial dysfunction upon the ZER-HPβCD treatment as well as modulating proapoptotic and anti-apototic Bcl-2 family members. A significant increase in caspase 3/7, caspase 9, and caspase 8 was detected with the depletion of BID cleaved by caspase 8. Collectively, these results prove that a highly soluble inclusion complex of ZER-HPβCD could be a promising anticancer agent for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in humans.
PMCID: PMC3662198  PMID: 23737847
14.  Phytochemicals and Antioxidant Capacity from Nypa fruticans Wurmb. Fruit 
Nypa fruticans Wurmb. is one of the important underutilized fruit of Malaysia, which lacks scientific attention. Total phenolics, flavonoid content, and antioxidant capacities from endosperm extracts of Nypa fruticans (unripe and ripe fruits) were evaluated. Endosperm extract of unripe fruits (EEU) exhibited the highest phenolics (135.6 ± 4.5 mg GAE/g), flavonoid content (68.6 ± 3.1 RE/g), and antioxidant capacity. Free radical scavenging capacity of EEU as assessed by 2-2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenz-thiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) radicals showed inhibitory activity of 78 ± 1.2% and 85 ± 2.6%, respectively. Beta carotene bleaching coefficient of EEU was higher (2550 ± 123), when compared to endosperm extract of ripe fruits (1729 ± 172). Additionally, EEU exhibited high antioxidant capacity by phosphomolybdenum method and ferric reducing antioxidant power values. Eight phenolic compounds from Nypa fruticans endosperm extracts were identified and quantified by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography. Chlorogenic acid, protocatechuic acid, and kaempferol were the major phenolic compounds. Thus this fruit could be used as a potential source of natural antioxidant.
PMCID: PMC3654328  PMID: 23710209
15.  Carica papaya Leaves Juice Significantly Accelerates the Rate of Increase in Platelet Count among Patients with Dengue Fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever 
The study was conducted to investigate the platelet increasing property of Carica papaya leaves juice (CPLJ) in patients with dengue fever (DF). An open labeled randomized controlled trial was carried out on 228 patients with DF and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). Approximately half the patients received the juice, for 3 consecutive days while the others remained as controls and received the standard management. Their full blood count was monitored 8 hours for 48 hours. Gene expression studies were conducted on the ALOX 12 and PTAFR genes. The mean increase in platelet counts were compared in both groups using repeated measure ANCOVA. There was a significant increase in mean platelet count observed in the intervention group (P < 0.001) but not in the control group 40 hours since the first dose of CPLJ. Comparison of mean platelet count between intervention and control group showed that mean platelet count in intervention group was significantly higher than control group after 40 and 48 hours of admission (P < 0.01). The ALOX 12 (FC  =  15.00) and PTAFR (FC  =  13.42) genes were highly expressed among those on the juice. It was concluded that CPLJ does significantly increase the platelet count in patients with DF and DHF.
PMCID: PMC3638585  PMID: 23662145
16.  Gastroprotective Activity of Polygonum chinense Aqueous Leaf Extract on Ethanol-Induced Hemorrhagic Mucosal Lesions in Rats 
Polygonum chinense is a Malaysian ethnic plant with various healing effects. This study was to determine preventive effect of aqueous leaf extract of P. chinense against ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury in rats. Sprague Dawley rats were divided into seven groups. The normal and ulcer control groups were orally administered with distilled water. The reference group was orally administered with 20 mg/kg omeprazole. The experimental groups received the extracts 62.5, 125, 250, and 500 mg/kg, accordingly. After sixty minutes, distilled water and absolute ethanol were given (5 mL/kg) to the normal control and the others, respectively. In addition to histology, immunohistochemical and periodic acid schiff (PAS) stains, levels of lipid peroxidation, malondialdehyde (MDA), antioxidant enzymes, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured. The ulcer group exhibited severe mucosal damages. The experimental groups significantly reduced gastric lesions and MDA levels and increased SOD level. Immunohistochemistry of the experimental groups showed upregulation and downregulation of Hsp70 and Bax proteins, respectively. PAS staining in these groups exhibited intense staining as compared to the ulcer group. Acute toxicity study revealed the nontoxic nature of the extract. Our data provide first evidence that P. chinense extract could significantly prevent gastric ulcer.
PMCID: PMC3544547  PMID: 23365597
17.  Randomized Clinical Trial on the Use of PHYSTA Freeze-Dried Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia for the Improvement of Quality of Life and Sexual Well-Being in Men 
Eurycoma longifolia is reputed as an aphrodisiac and remedy for decreased male libido. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study was carried out to investigate the clinical evidence of E. longifolia in men. The 12-week study in 109 men between 30 and 55 years of age consisted of either treatment of 300 mg of water extract of E. longifolia (Physta) or placebo. Primary endpoints were the Quality of Life investigated by SF-36 questionnaire and Sexual Well-Being investigated by International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Sexual Health Questionnaires (SHQ); Seminal Fluid Analysis (SFA), fat mass and safety profiles. Repeated measures ANOVA analysis was used to compare changes in the endpoints. The E. longifolia (EL) group significantly improved in the domain Physical Functioning of SF-36, from baseline to week 12 compared to placebo (P = 0.006) and in between group at week 12 (P = 0.028). The EL group showed higher scores in the overall Erectile Function domain in IIEF (P < 0.001), sexual libido (14% by week 12), SFA- with sperm motility at 44.4%, and semen volume at 18.2% at the end of treatment. Subjects with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 significantly improved in fat mass lost (P = 0.008). All safety parameters were comparable to placebo.
PMCID: PMC3518798  PMID: 23243445
18.  Dentatin Induces Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells via Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Survivin Downregulation, Caspase-9, -3/7 Activation, and NF-κB Inhibition 
This study was set to investigate antiproliferative potential of dentatin (a natural coumarin isolated from Clausena excavata Burm. F) against prostate cancer and to delineate the underlying mechanism of action. Treatment with dentatin dose-dependently inhibited cell growth of PC-3 and LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines, whereas it showed less cytotoxic effects on normal prostate epithelial cell line (RWPE-1). The inhibitory effect of dentatin on prostate cancer cell growth was due to induction of apoptosis as evidenced by Annexin V staining and cell shrinkage. We found that dentatin-mediated accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and downregulated expression levels of antiapoptotic molecules (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Survivin), leading to disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), cell membrane permeability, and release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytosol. These effects were associated with induction of caspase-9, -3/7 activities, and subsequent DNA fragmentation. In addition, we found that dentatin inhibited TNF-α-induced nuclear translocation of p65, suggesting dentatin as a potential NF-κB inhibitor. Thus, we suggest that dentatin may have therapeutic value in prostate cancer treatment worthy of further development.
PMCID: PMC3471446  PMID: 23091559
19.  Antibacterial, Antifungal, Cytotoxic, Phytotoxic, Insecticidal, and Enzyme Inhibitory Activities of Geranium wallichianum 
The present study describes the phytochemical investigations of the crude extracts of rhizomes and leaves of Geranium wallichianum. The crude extracts were fractionated to obtain n-hexane, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol fractions, which were subjected to different biological activities and enzyme inhibition assays to explore the therapeutic potential of this medicinally important herb. The results indicated that the crude extracts and different fractions of rhizomes and leaves showed varied degree of antimicrobial activities and enzyme inhibitions in different assays. Overall, the rhizome extract and its different fractions showed comparatively better activities in various assays. Furthermore, the purified constituents from the repeated chromatographic separations were also subjected to enzyme inhibition studies against three different enzymes. The results of these studies showed that lipoxygenase enzyme was significantly inhibited as compared to urease. In case of chemical constituents, the sterols (2–4) showed no inhibition, while ursolic acid (1) and benzoic ester (6) showed significant inhibition of urease enzymes.
PMCID: PMC3461298  PMID: 23049606
20.  Mitigation of H2O2-Induced Mitochondrial-Mediated Apoptosis in NG108-15 Cells by Novel Mesuagenin C from Mesua kunstleri (King) Kosterm 
This study was aimed to isolate and evaluate neuroprotective compounds from the hexane extract of the bark of Mesua kunstleri (Clusiaceae) on H2O2-induced apoptosis in NG108-15 cells. Five 4-phenylcoumarins were isolated by using various chromatographic techniques via neuroprotective activity-guided fractionation and isolation from the active hexane extract. The chemical structures of the isolated compounds were confirmed by NMR spectroscopic data interpretation and comparison with literature values. Cell viability data demonstrated that mesuagenin C 3 significantly increased cell viability. Hoechst 33342/PI staining illustrated mesuagenin C 3 was able to abate the nuclear shrinkage, chromatin condensation and formation of apoptotic bodies. Pretreatment with mesuagenin C 3 reduced total annexin V positive cells and increased the level of intracellular glutathione (GSH). Mesuagenin C 3 attenuated membrane potential (Δψm), reduced Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and inactivated of caspase-3/7 and -9. These results indicated that mesuagenin C 3 could protect NG108-15 cells against H2O2-induced apoptosis by increasing intracellular GSH level, aggrandizing Δψm, and modulating apoptotic signalling pathway through Bcl-2 family and caspase-3/7 and -9. These findings confirmed the involvement of intrinsic apoptotic pathway in H2O2-induced apoptosis and suggested that mesuagenin C 3 may have potential therapeutic properties for neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3418696  PMID: 22956972
21.  Antiatherosclerotic Effect of Canarium odontophyllum Miq. Fruit Parts in Rabbits Fed High Cholesterol Diet 
The effect of C. odontophyllum (CO) fruit parts was investigated in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Forty-nine rabbits, which were randomly divided into seven groups of seven animals (n = 7), received a diet containing different parts of CO fruit parts for 8 weeks. The groups were as follows: (1) normal diet: NC group and (2) hypercholesterolemic diet: PC, HS (10 mg/kg/day simvastatin), HPO (20 g kg−1 oil extracted from the pulp of CO), HKO (20 g kg−1 oil extracted from the kernel of CO), HF (50 g kg−1 fullfat pulp of CO), and HD (50 g kg−1 defatted pulp of CO). Among these groups, rabbits receiving defatted pulp of CO showed the greatest cholesterol lowering effect as it had reduced plasma LDL-C, TC, and thiobarbiturate reactive substance (TBARS) levels as well as atherosclerotic plaques. The presence of high dietary fiber and antioxidants activity are potential factors contributing to the cholesterol lowering effect. Consequently, these results indicate the potential use of CO defatted pulp as a cholesterol lowering and antioxidant agent.
PMCID: PMC3395265  PMID: 22811751
22.  Ficus deltoidea: A Potential Alternative Medicine for Diabetes Mellitus 
Ficus deltoidea from the Moraceae family has been scientifically proven to reduce hyperglycemia at different prandial states. In this study, we evaluate the mechanisms that underlie antihyperglycemic action of Ficus deltoidea. The results had shown that hot aqueous extract of Ficus deltoidea stimulated insulin secretion significantly with the highest magnitude of stimulation was 7.31-fold (P < 0.001). The insulin secretory actions of the hot aqueous extract involved K+ ATP channel-dependent and K+ ATP-channel-independent pathway. The extract also has the ability to induce the usage of intracellular Ca2+ to trigger insulin release. The ethanolic and methanolic extracts enhanced basal and insulin-mediated glucose uptake into adipocytes cells. The extracts possess either insulin-mimetic or insulin-sensitizing property or combination of both properties during enhancing glucose uptake into such cells. Meanwhile, the hot aqueous and methanolic extracts augmented basal and insulin-stimulated adiponectin secretion from adipocytes cells. From this study, it is suggested that Ficus deltoidea has the potential to be developed as future oral antidiabetic agent.
PMCID: PMC3372277  PMID: 22701507
23.  Effect of Cymbopogon citratus and Citral on Vascular Smooth Muscle of the Isolated Thoracic Rat Aorta 
Cymbopogon citratus has been shown to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, antispasmodic and chemo-protective properties. Citral, is the major constituent of C. citratus. This study investigated the effects of methanolic extracts of leaves (LE), stems (SE), and roots (RE) of C. citratus and citral on vascular smooth muscle and explored their possible mechanisms of action. The experiment was conducted using isolated tissue preparations, where citral, LE, SE, and RE were added separately into a tissue bath that contained aortic rings, which were pre-contracted with phenylephrine (PE). Citral, LE, and RE exhibited a dose-dependent relaxant effect on the PE-induced contractions. Citral appeared to partially act via NO as its vasorelaxant effect was attenuated by L-NAME. However, the effect of LE may involve prostacyclin as indomethacin reversed the relaxant effect of LE on the PE-induced contraction. Furthermore, citral, LE, and RE abolished the restoration of PE-induced contraction caused by the addition of increasing doses of calcium in both endothelium intact and denuded rings. These findings suggest that the relaxation effect of citral, LE, and RE is endothelium-independent and may be mainly by affecting the intracellular concentration of calcium. Citral may partially act through the NO pathway while a vasodilator prostaglandin may mediate the effect of LE.
PMCID: PMC3364612  PMID: 22675383
24.  Bioactive Markers Based Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of Extracts of a Traditional Medicinal Plant, Piper sarmentosum 
In vitro assays are economical and easy to perform but to establish relevance of their results to real clinical outcome in animals or human, pharmacokinetics is prerequisite. Despite various in vitro pharmacological activities of extracts of Piper sarmentosum, there is no report of pharmacokinetics. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate ethanol extract of fruit of the plant in dose of 500 mg kg−1 orally for pharmacokinetics. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into groups 1, 2, and 3 (each n = 6) to study absorption, distribution and excretion, respectively. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with ultraviolet detection was applied to quantify pellitorine, sarmentine and sarmentosine in plasma, tissues, feces and urine to calculate pharmacokinetic parameters. Pellitorine exhibited maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) 34.77 ng mL−1 ± 1.040, time to achieve Cmax (Tmax) 8 h, mean resident time (MRT) 26.00 ± 0.149 h and half life (t1/2) 18.64 ± 1.65 h. Sarmentine showed Cmax 191.50 ± 12.69 ng mL−1, Tmax 6 h, MRT 11.12 ± 0.44 h and t1/2 10.30 ± 1.98 h. Sarmentosine exhibited zero oral bioavailability because it was neither detected in plasma nor in tissues, and in urine. Pellitorine was found to be distributed in intestinal wall, liver, lungs, kidney, and heart, whereas sarmentine was found only in intestinal wall and heart. The cumulative excretion of pellitorine, sarmentine and sarmentosine in feces in 72 h was 0.0773, 0.976, and 0.438 μg, respectively. This study shows that pellitorine and sarmentine have good oral bioavailability while sarmentosine is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
PMCID: PMC3137875  PMID: 19770264
25.  Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities 
Considering the importance of diet in prevention of oxidative stress-related diseases including hypertension, this study was undertaken to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant and ACE inhibitory activities of selected culinary-medicinal mushrooms extracted by boiling in water for 30 min. Antioxidant capacity was measured using the following assays: DPPH free radical scavenging activity, β-carotene bleaching, inhibition of lipid peroxidation, reducing power ability, and cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC). Antioxidant potential of each mushroom species was calculated based on the average percentages relative to quercetin and summarized as Antioxidant Index (AI). Ganoderma lucidum (30.1%), Schizophyllum commune (27.6%), and Hericium erinaceus (17.7%) showed relatively high AI. Total phenolics in these mushrooms varied between 6.19 to 63.51 mg GAE/g extract. In the ACE inhibitory assay, G. lucidum was shown to be the most potent species (IC50 = 50 μg/mL). Based on our findings, culinary-medicinal mushrooms can be considered as potential source of dietary antioxidant and ACE inhibitory agents.
PMCID: PMC3118607  PMID: 21716693

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