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1.  Antioxidant and Anti-Fatigue Activities of Flavonoids From Puerariae Radix 
This study evaluated the antioxidant and anti-fatigue activities of flavonoids from Puerariae radix (FPR). In vitro antioxidant activities of FPR were investigated through hydroxyl and superoxide radical scavenging activities. In vivo anti-fatigue activity of FPR was investigated through loaded swimming exercise of mice. Results showed that FPR had not only in vitro antioxidant activities, but also an in vivo anti-fatigue activity in mice. FPR possessed superoxide and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity in in vitro experimental studies. In vivo experimental studies, FPR could evidently extend exhaustive swimming time of mice, inhibit the increase of blood lactic acid (BLA), decrease serum urea nitrogen (BUN) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, promote increases in the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) of mice after swimming. The results provided an important basis for developing the FPR as a novel antioxidant and anti-fatigue compound.
PMCID: PMC3746631  PMID: 23983338
Puerariae radix; flavonoids; antioxidant; anti-fatigue
2.  The Influence of Phytotherapy on Macroprolactinoma Size 
The study aims at demonstrating the efficiency of phytotherapy in macroprolactinoma downsizing. The comparison of phytotherapeutic (PT) efficiency leant on medical records submitted by the patients prior to the PT launch, indicating the diagnosis established based on the outcome of the nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI) and/or computed tomography (CT) of the affected site and bringing the results of field-of-vision examination and hormonal status determination. The insight into the documentation in reference provided the information on tumour size and prolactin levels. The data in reference were compared against medical records submitted following phytotherapy completion. This study brings the results of a five-year investigation into the influence of phytotherapy on the size of macroprolactinomas. In patients responsive to this kind of treatment, tumour regression was witnessed within 6 months of herbal remedy use. A substantial tumour downsizing was accompanied by vision restitution;namely, in a number of cases, sight impairments are the first indicators of tumour presence. The basic parameters used for phytotherapeutic efficiency estimation and follow-up were the size of the tumour and the state of the field-of-vision, established both prior to and following phytotherapy. The results of the study presented herein unequivocally demonstrated the efficiency of phytotherapy in macroprolactinoma tumour mass downsizing, providing therefore solid grounds for the implementation of phytotherapy as a novel treatment modality of this tumour cluster.
PMCID: PMC3746621  PMID: 23983347
Phytotherapy; macroprolactinoma; visual field defect
3.  Effect of the Aqueous Extract of Justicia Insularis T. Anders (Acanthaceae) on Ovarian Folliculogenesis and Fertility of Female Rats 
Justicia insularis T. Anders (Acanthaceae) is a medicinal plant whose leaves and those of three other plants are mixed for the preparation of a concoction used to improve fertility and to reduce labour pains in women of the Western Region of Cameroon. Previous studies have demonstrated the inducing potential on ovarian folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis of the aqueous extract of the leaf mixture (ADHJ) of four medicinal plants (Aloe buettneri, Dicliptera verticillata, Hibiscus macranthus and Justicia insularis) among which the later represented the highest proportion. This study was aimed at evaluating the ovarian inducing potential of J. insularis in immature female rats. Various doses of the aqueous extract of J. insularis were daily and orally given, for 20 days, to immature female rats distributed into four experimental groups of twenty animals each. At the end of the experimental period some biochemical and physiological parameters of ovarian function were assayed. The administration of the aqueous extract of Justicia insularis significantly induced an early vaginal opening in all treated groups (P < 0.001) as well as an increase (at doses of 50 or 100 mg/kg) in the number of hemorrhagic points, Corpus luteum, implantation sites, ovarian weight, uterine and ovarian proteins. Ovarian cholesterol level (P < 0.05) significantly decreased in animals treated with the lowest dose (12.5 mg/kg). The evaluation of the toxicological effects of the extract on pregnancy showed that it significantly increased pre- and post-implantation losses, resorption index and decreased the rate of nidation as well as litter's weight. These results suggest that the aqueous extract of Justicia insularis induces ovarian folliculogenesis thus justifying its high proportion in the leaf mixture of ADHJ.
PMCID: PMC3746622  PMID: 23983335
Justicia insularis; vaginal opening; ovary; fertility; gestation; resorption index
4.  Spasmolytic Effects of Aqueous Extract of Mixture From Aframomumum Melegueta (K Schum) — Citrus Aurantifolia (Christm and Panzer) on Isolated Trachea From Rat 
The spasmolytic properties of the aqueous extract of Aframomum melegueta (K Schum) and Citrus aurantifolia (Christm and Panzer) (AMCA) mixture were tested on isolated rat trachea. Inhibition of the contraction was observed the in presence of the AMCA (EC 50 = 1.80 ± 0.48 mg/mL) after a pre contraction of the trachea by acetylcholine (10−5 M). With propranolol (10−6 M), the spasmolytic activity of the mixture was inhibited and the concentration-response curve shifted to the right. The EC50 value was then 2.60 ± 0.41 mg/mL. AMCA also inhibited contraction induced by KCl (4.10−2 M) with EC50 value = 1.86 ± 0.65 mg/mL. These results clearly show the relaxing effect of the aqueous extract on the isolated rat trachea. This effect involved some β-adrenergic receptor inhibition.
PMCID: PMC3746623  PMID: 23983339
Aframomum melegueta; Citrus aurantifolia; extract; bronchodilatory; spasmolytic; Rat trachea
5.  Influence of Honey-Roasting on the Main Pharmacological Activities and the Water-Soluble Active Glycosides of Licorice 
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), licorice is usually processed with honey and traditionally used in decoction form. However, the influence of honey-roasting on the main pharmacological activities and the water-soluble active constituents of licorice has not been reported. The aim of the present study is to determine whether honey-roasting can modify the main pharmacological activities and the active constituents of licorice. According to licorice clinical application and processing method, the mainly related pharmacological activities of crude licorice, processed licorice and refined honey, such as enhancing immune function, relieving cough, eliminating phlegm and detoxication, were compared. The results showed that honey-roasting obviously reinforced the licorice activity of enhancing Pi-deficiency mice's immune function, and significantly weaken the licorice activity of relieving cough, removing phlegm and detoxication. However, honey didn't show the significant activity of relieving cough, removing phlegm and detoxication. The influence of honey-roasting on the chemical compositions in licorice slice and licorice decoction was investigated by using HPLC. The results showed that the content and the decocting quantity of mainly 5 active glycosides in licorice, i.e. liquiritin apioside, liquiritin, licuraside, isoliquiritin and glycyrrhizin, obviously changed after processing; glycyrrhizin and liquiritin obviously decomposed during honey-roasting. In conclusion, honey-roasting obviously modified the main pharmacological activities and the water-soluble compositions of licorice. The modification was not cause by honey only. This finding may shed some light on understanding the differences in the therapeutic values of crude and processed licorice.
PMCID: PMC3746624  PMID: 23983334
crude licorice; processed licorice; honey-roasting; pharmacological activity; active glycosides; modification
6.  Protective Effects of Two Constituents of Chinese Herbs on Spinal Motor Neurons from Embryonic Rats with Hypoxia Injury 
Neuroprotective agents are becoming significant tools in the repair of central nervous system injuries. In this study, we determined whether ginkgolides (Gin, extract of GinkgoBiloba) and Acanthopanax senticosus saponins (ASS, flavonoids extracted from Acanthopanax herbal preparations) have protective effects on rat spinal cords exposed to anoxia and we explored the mechanisms that underlie the protective effects. Spinal motor neurons (SMNs) from rat spinal cords were obtained and divided into five groups with 10 wells in each group. In control group, SMNs suffered no injury under normal oxygen; in hypoxia- inducible (HI) group, SMNs suffered injury from hypoxia; in Gin group, 37.5µg/ml Gin were used before 24 hrs of hypoxia; in ASS group, 50µg/ml ASS were used before 24 hrs of hypoxia;in glial cell-lined derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) group, 0.1µg/ml GDNF were used before 24 hrs of hypoxia. Changes in morphology, neuron viability, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release were observed. In addition, the expression of HIF-1α induced by hypoxia was measured. The neuronal viability in the Gin, ASS, and GDNF pretreated groups was higher than that in the HI group (P<0.05). The viability in the Gin group was better than that in the ASS group (P<0.05), but there was no significant difference between the ASS and GDNF groups (P>0.05). The quantity of LDH released in the three pretreated groups was lower than that in the HI group (P<0.05). The expression of HIF-1α in the HI group was greater than that in the control group (P<0.05), and the expression in the three pretreated groups was greater than that in the HI and the control groups (P<0.05). Our results indicate that Gin and ASS which was not as effective as Gin, but its effects were similar to those of GNDF could all enhance the viability of SMNs and have protective effects on hypoxic neurons.
PMCID: PMC3746625  PMID: 23983340
ginkgolides; Acanthopanax senticosus saponins; apoptosis; hypoxia; motor neurons; hypoxia-inducible factor-1; rats
7.  Qidantongmai Protects Endothelial Cells Against Hypoxia-Induced Damage Through Regulating the Serum Vegf-A Level 
Qidantongmai (QDTM) is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) preparation that has long been used in folk medicine for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The present study was designed to determine the effects of QDTM on endothelial cells under hypoxic conditions both in vitro and in vivo. Primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were isolated, pretreated with QDTM medicated serum or saline control, and then cultured under hypoxia (2% oxygen) for 24 h. Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 1 ml/100 g of QDTM or saline twice a day for 4 days and treated with hypoxia (6 hours/day, discontinuous hypoxia, 360 mm Hg). QDTM not only protected HUVECs from hypoxia-induced damage by significantly retaining cell viability (P < 0.05) and decreasing apoptosis (P < 0.05) in vitro, but also protected liver endothelial cells from hypoxia-induced damage in vivo. Moreover, QDTM increased the serum VEGF-A level (P < 0.05) in rats treated with hypoxia for 7 days but suppressed the upregulation of serum VEGF-A in rats treated with hypoxia for 14 days. QDTM is a potent preparation that can protect endothelial cells against hypoxia-induced damage. The ability of QDTM to modulate the serum VEGF-A level may play an important role in its effects on endothelial cells.
PMCID: PMC3746626  PMID: 23983337
Traditional Chinese Medicine; human umbilical vein endothelial cells; hypoxia; VEGF
8.  Antihyperglycemic Activities of Leaves of Three Edible Fruit Plants (Averrhoa Carambola, Ficus Hispida and Syzygium Samarangense) of Bangladesh 
Averrhoa carambola L. (Oxalidaceae), Ficus hispida L.f. (Moraceae), and Syzygium samarangense (Blume) Merr. & L.M. Perry (Myrtaceae) are three common plants in Bangladesh, the fruits of which are edible. The leaves and fruits of A. carambola and F. hispida are used by folk medicinal practitioners for treatment of diabetes, while the leaves of S. samarangense are used for treatment of cold, itches, and waist pain. Since scientific studies are absent on the antihyperglycemic effects of the leaves of the three plants, it was the objective of the present study to evaluate the antihyperglycemic potential of methanolic extract of leaves of the plants in oral glucose tolerance tests carried out with glucose-loaded mice. The extracts at different doses were administered one hour prior to glucose administration and blood glucose level was measured after two hours of glucose administration (p.o.) using glucose oxidase method. Significant oral hypoglycemic activity was found with the extracts of leaves of all three plants tested. The fall in serum glucose levels were dose-dependent for every individual plant, being highest at the highest dose tested of 400 mg extract per kg body weight. At this dose, the extracts of A. carambola, F. hispida, and S. samarangense caused, respectively, 34.1, 22.7, and 59.3% reductions in serum glucose levels when compared to control animals. The standard antihyperglycemic drug, glibenclamide, caused a 57.3% reduction in serum glucose levels versus control. Among the three plants evaluated, the methanolic extract of leaves of S. samarangense proved to be the most potent in demonstrating antihyperglycemic effects. The result validates the folk medicinal uses of A. carambola and F. hispida in the treatment of diabetes, and indicates that the leaves of S. samarangense can also possibly be used for amelioration of diabetes-induced hyperglycemia.
PMCID: PMC3746627  PMID: 23983348
Averrhoa carambola; Ficus hispida; Syzygium samarangense; antihyperglycemic
9.  Antidiarrhoeal Activity of an Ethanol Extract of the Stem Bark of Piliostigma Reticulatum (Caesalpiniaceae) in Rats 
Piliostigma reticulatum (Caesalpiniaceae) is used in Africa as a traditional medicine for the treatment of many diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and diarrhoea. We investigated the antidiarrhoeal properties of a crude ethanol extract from the stem bark of Piliostigma reticulatum (EEPR) in Wistar albino rats to substantiate its traditional use and to determine its phytochemical constituents. The antidiarrhoeal activity of the plant extract was evaluated in a castor oil-induced diarrhoea model in rats and compared with loperamide. The effect of the extract on gastrointestinal motility was also determined by the oral administration of charcoal meal and castor oil-induced intestinal fluid accumulation (enteropooling). EEPR showed remarkable dose-dependent antidiarrhoeal activity evidenced by a reduction of defecation frequency and change in consistency. Extracts at 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight significantly reduced diarrhoeal faeces. EEPR also significantly inhibited gastrointestinal motility and castor oil-induced enteropooling at 500 and 1000 mg/kg, similar to the inhibition obtained in control rats treated by atropine. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, polyphenols and reducing sugars in the stem bark of P. reticulatum. No mortality or visible signs of general weakness were observed in the rats following administration of the crude extract in doses up to 6000 mg/kg body weight in an acute toxicity study. Our results show that the stem bark of P. reticulatum possesses antidiarrhoeal activity and strongly suggest that its use in traditional medicine practice could be justified.
PMCID: PMC3746628  PMID: 23983341
Antidiarrhoeal activity; Castor oil; Diarrhoea; Piliostigma reticulatum
10.  Mitochondria as Pharmacological Targets: The Discovery of Novel Anti-Obesity Mitochondrial Uncouplers from Africa's Medicinal Plants 
Obesity results from prolonged positive imbalance between energy in take and expenditure. When food intake chronically exceeds the body's energy need, an efficient metabolism results in the storage of the excess energy as fat. Mitochondria are the main centre for energy production in eukaryotic cells. Mitochondrial proton cycling is responsible for a significant proportion of basal or standard metabolic rate, therefore, further uncoupling of mitochondria may be a good way to increase energy expenditure and hence represent a good pharmacological target for the treatment of obesity. This implies that, any chemical agent or photochemical compound that further uncouples the mitochondria in vivo without having any effect on mitochondria activity could be a potential target in finding treatment for obesity. In the past, uncoupling by 2, 4-dinitrophenol has been used this way with notable success. This paper discusses the mitochondria as targets in the discovery of potential plant natural anti-obesity products from Africa's rich rainforests.
PMCID: PMC3746629  PMID: 23983343
Uncoupling; Mitochondria; Pharmacology; Medicinal Plants; Obesity
11.  Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Crude Saponin Extracts from Five Nigerian Medicinal Plants 
Abstact
Crude saponin extracts of five medicinal plants used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout and haemorrhoids were screened for anti-inflammatory activity using carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema test. These plants were the whole plant of Schwenkia americana Linn (WSA), the rhizomes of Asparagus africanus Lam (RAA), the leaves of Dichrostachys cinerea Linn (LDC), the stem bark of Ficus iteophylla Miq (BFI) and the leaves of Indigofera pulchra Willd (LIP). A modify traditional method of crude saponins extraction was used to give the following percentage yields: WSA-2.74%, RAA-3.59%, LDC-1.62%, BFI-0.81% and LIP-1.57% respectively. Thin-layer chromatography was used to identify the type of saponins present in the extracts. The acute toxicity study of the crude saponin extracts in mice gave the following intraperitoneal LD50: WSA-471.2mg/kg, RAA- 1264.9mg/kg, LDC-1264.9mg/kg, BFI-118.3mg/kg and LIP-1264.9mg/kg respectively. The anti-inflammatory study of the extracts showed statistically significant (P<0.05) decreases in the rat paw-oedema as compared to the control. The percentage inhibitions of the extracts after four hours were as follow: WSA-61%, RAA-55%, LDC-72%, BFI-66% and LIP-40% respectively. These values were found to be comparable to that of ketoprofen-63%. The study showed that the anti-inflammatory properties attributable to these plants may be due to their saponins contents.
PMCID: PMC3746630  PMID: 23983342
Asparagus africanus; Dichrostachys cinerea; Ficus iteophylla; Indigofera pulchra; Schwenkia americana; Saponin; Anti-inflammatory activity; Carrageenan; TLC
12.  Acute Toxicity and Vascular Properties of Seed of Parkia Biglobosa (JACQ) R. Br Gift (Mimosaceae) on Rat Aorta 
The authors report here the results of study on Parkia biglobosa seeds used in Burkina Faso for arterial hypertension treatment. Investigations were done on acute toxicity and vascular properties of fermented and roasted seeds. Acute toxicity test using mice, revealed by the intraperitoneal route a lethal dose 50 (LD50) of 1800 mg/kg and 1600 mg/kg of body weight for aqueous extract from roasted and fermented seeds respectively. According to the scale of Hodge and Sterner and that of the World Health Organization, such drugs would be classified lightly toxic. Oral administration (up to 3000 mg/kg) did not induce any death of animal. For the vascular properties, the effects of these products were tested on the aorta isolated from rats. The cumulative administration of extract from roasted and fermented seeds (0.1–10 mg/mL) in an organ bath induced a concentration-dependent relaxation of the aorta pre contracted by phenylephrine, with or without functional endothelium. The extracts (10 mg/mL) inhibited for 100% the contraction induced by phenylephrine. The EC50 values in presence and absence of endothelium were respectively of 5.37 ± 0.12 and 4.19 ± 1.02 mg/mL for fermented seeds; for roasted seeds these values were respectively, 5.39 ± 1.12 and 5.93 ± 0.95 mg/mL. Nevertheless, low concentration of roasted seeds (1–4 mg/mL) induced endothelium-dependent relaxation and this effect was inhibited by indomethacin (10−5M), and not by L-NAME (310−4M). These experimental results revealed a vasorelaxant effect of P. biglobosa seeds. P. biglobosa seems to act directly on the smooth muscle and via endothelium involving the generation of vasodilatating prostaglandins. This vasodilator effect would be in favor of an anti hypertensive property of P. biglobosa seeds.
PMCID: PMC3746632  PMID: 23983344
Acute toxicity; vasodilator; endothelium; Parkia biglobosa
13.  Anti-Diabetic Activities of the Methanol Leaf Extracts of Hymenocardia Acida (Tul.) in Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats 
The effect of methanolic extract of Hymenocardia acida leaves on diabetes and associated lipidemia were investigated on experimentally-induced diabetic rats. The extract did not demonstrate any acutely toxic effect in rats within the dose range (250 mg/kg – 2000 mg/kg) employed in the study; hence it was well tolerated by the rats. In all experiments, the anti-diabetic effects were dose-dependent and comparable to that of glibenclamide (2 mg/kg) standard. At a dose of 500 mg/kg, lipid profile markers such as the serum total cholesterol (TC) levels, LDL-C, triglycerides and HDL-C were significantly lower (p <0.05) than those of both the treated and untreated controls.
PMCID: PMC3746633  PMID: 23983336
Hymenocardia acida; Diabetes mellitus; Lipid profile; Glibenclamide; Alloxan monohydrate
14.  Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Safe Alternative Therapy for Urinary Tract infection in Patients with Renal Insufficiency 
We have used reduced doses of Chinese herbs for estimation of urinary tract infections (UTIs) patients with stable impairment of renal function. A total of 33 adult female patients with moderately impaired renal function and symptomatic UTIs were included in this study. Urine cultures were carried out. Patients were monitored clinically and with various laboratory tests. Chinese herbal concoction divided by milligrams of creatinine per 100 ml were orally administrated for ten days. Three patients were excluded from final analysis. Most of the patients responded symptomatically to treatment. Chinese herbs eradicated the primary pathogen in 68.7% of the patients at the day 10 of treatment. Two patients relapsed (one had abbreviated courses of therapy) 6 to 8 days posttreatment. Organisms which recurred included Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bacterial reinfections occurred 5 to 8 days posttreatment in four patients. Adverse reactions observed among the 30 patients were rare. Nausea (6.67%) and mild elevation of hepatic enzymes (3.33%) were probably drug related. Nausea disappeared when the therapy ended. Elevated hepatic enzymes resumed at the 2-week follow-up. Two patients demonstrated slight increases in serum creatinine on day 10 of treatment. One patient had a 12.5% elevation over baseline and the other had a 13.0% elevation. Serum creatinine values had improved in these two patients at 4-week follow-up. Chinese herbal medicine was effective and safe in the treatment of UTIs with renal insufficiency.
PMCID: PMC3746634  PMID: 23983345
Chinese herbs; Urinary tract infection; Renal insufficiency; Dose adjustment
15.  Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant, and Selective Antibacterial Effects of Euadenia Eminens Root Bark 
Euadenia eminens Hook f. (Capparaceae) has traditional uses in the management of conjunctivitis, iritis, ophthalmia, tuberculosis, otalgia and rectal prolapse. The fruit pulp is also eaten as an aphrodisiac. In this paper, we report on the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial effects of its roots. A 70 % ethanol extract was tested for anti-inflammatory effect using the carrageenan-induced oedema in chicks. Free radical scavenging, total antioxidant and total phenol content were assessed spectrophotometrically. The extract was tested for antibacterial activity using the agar well diffusion method and micro dilution assays. The 70% ethanol extract gave a maximal inhibition of oedema by 74.18 % at 30 mg/kg. The total antioxidant capacity expressed in terms of ascorbic acid was 0.609 mg/g dry weight. The total phenol in terms of tannic acid was 7.25 mg/g dry weight. The extract also demonstrated free radical scavenging activity yielding IC50 value of 1.175 mg/mL. The root extract however, showed selective antibacterial activity, inhibiting growth of two microorganisms; Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus thurigiensis. The MICs were 500 and 1000 µg/mL respectively. These results may account in part for the ethnopharmacological use of the plant.
PMCID: PMC3746635  PMID: 23983346
Anti-infective; Anti-inflammatory; Antioxidant; Carrageenan-induced oedema; Euadenia eminens
16.  Meta-Analysis: Therapeutic Effect of Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization Combined With Compound Kushen Injection in Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
Compound Kushen Injection (CKI) is Sophora Flavescens and Heterosmilacis Japonicae extract. Meta-analysis confirmed that CKI plus transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is more superior to TACE alone for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (UHCC) patients.
PMCID: PMC3746636  PMID: 23983333
Compound Kushen Injection; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; TACE; hepatocellular carcinoma
17.  Effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine Wei-Wei-Kang-Granule on the Expression of EGFR and NF-KB in Chronic Atrophic Gastritis Rats 
Wei-Wei-Kang-Granule(WWKG) is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) preparation for the treatment of chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG). We examined the pathologic change and the effects of Wei-Wei-Kang-Granule (WWKG) on the expression of EGFR (epiderminal growth factor receptors) and NF-kB (nuclear transcription factor KappaB) in rats with chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG), and evaluated the possible mechanisms. Ninety rats were randomly divided into control group and four experimental groups. CAG rat models were induced by repeated stimulating experiments in the experimental groups. After modeled rats were intragastrically injected (i.g.) with WWKG at 6000mg/kg (large dose WWKG group), WWKG at 3000mg/kg (small dose WWKG group), San-Jiu-Wei-Tai-Granule(SJWTG) at 1600mg/kg(SJWTG group), and normal saline(0.9%)at 20ml/kg (model group and control group), respectively, once a day for 30 days. After 30 days, all rats were sacrificed and samples were taken from the sinus ventriculi and body of stomach. The gastric specimens were prepared for microscopic view with hematoxylin and eosin (H-E). The immunohistochemistry method was used to observe the expression of protein of EGFR and NF-kB in gastric tissue. The data were analyzed in pre-and post-treatment by computer image automatic analysis system. Immunohistochemistry detection showed that the average optical density of EGFR and NF-kB in antrum was lower in large and small dose WWKG groups than the model group (P<0.01). CAG in rats was related with the damage of barrier in gastric mucosa and the misbalance of cell proliferation and apoptosis. One of the mechanisms is perhaps to reduce the expressing of EGFR and NF-Kb in gastric mucosa.
PMCID: PMC3744208  PMID: 23983313
Chronic atrophic gastritis(CAG); EGFR; NF-kB
18.  Trichilia Monadelpha Bark Extracts Inhibit Carrageenan-Induced Foot-Oedema in the 7-Day Old Chick and the Oedema Associated With Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis in Rats 
Trichilia monadelpha (Thonn) JJ De Wilde (Meliaceae) bark extract is used in African traditional medicine for the management of various disease conditions including inflammatory disorders such as arthritis. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the anti-inflammatory properties of aqueous (TWE), alcoholic (TAE) and petroleum ether extract (TPEE) of T. monadelpha using the 7-day old chick-carrageenan footpad oedema (acute inflammation) and the adjuvant-induced arthritis model in rats (chronic inflammation). TWE and TPEE significantly inhibited the chick-carrageenan footpad oedema with maximal inhibitions of 57.79±3.92 and 63.83±12 respectively, but TAE did not. The reference anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac and dexamethasone) inhibited the chick-carrageenan-induced footpad oedema, with maximal inhibitions of 64.92±2.03 and 71.85±15.34 respectively. Furthermore, all the extracts and the reference anti-inflammatory agents (diclofenac, dexamethasone, methotrexate) inhibited the inflammatory oedema associated with adjuvant arthritis with maximal inhibitions of 64.41±5.56, 57.04±8.57, 62.18±2.56%, for TWE, TAE and TPEE respectively and 80.28±5.79, 85.75±2.96, 74.68±3.03% for diclofenac, dexamethasone and methotrexate respectively. Phytochemical screening of the plant bark confirmed the presence of a large array of plant constituents such as alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, steroids, tannins and terpenoids, all of which may be potential sources of phyto-antiinflammatory agents. In conclusion, our work suggests that T. monadelpha is a potential source of antiinflammatory agents.
PMCID: PMC3744209  PMID: 23983314
Antiinflammatory; Arthritis; Trichilia monadelpha; chick-carrageenan; phyto-antiinflammatory
19.  The Novel Antihyperglycaemic Action of Hunteria Umbellata Seed Fractions Mediated Via Intestinal Glucose Uptake Inhibition 
The present study evaluated the antihyperglycaemic effect and mechanism of action of fractions of the aqueous seed extract of Hunteria umbellata (K. Schum.) Hallier f. (HU) in normal and alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic rats. HU was partitioned in chloroform, acetyl acetate and butan-1-ol to give chloroform fraction (HUc), ethyl acetate fraction (HUe), butanol fraction (HUb) and the “residue” (HUm), respectively. 200 mg/kg of each of these fraction dissolved in 5% Tween 20 in distilled water was investigated for its acute oral hypoglycaemic effects in normal rats over 6 hours while its repeated dose antihyperglycaemic effect was evaluated in alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic rats over 5 days. In addition, 50 mg/kg of the crude alkaloid fraction (HUAf) extracted from HU was evaluated for its possible antihyperglycaemic activity in alloxaninduced hyperglycaemic rats using oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) over 6 hours. Using the solvent system, distilled water-butanol-ammonium hydroxide (2:15:1, v/v/v), HUb was chromatographed and stained with Dragendorff's reagent for confirmatory qualitative analysis for alkaloids. Results showed that oral pre-treatment with 200 mg/kg of HUe, HUb and HUm resulted in a significant (p<0.05, p<0.001) time dependent hypoglycaemic effect, with the butan-1-ol fraction HU causing the most significant (p<0.001) hypoglycaemic effect. In the alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic rats, repeated oral treatment with 200 mg/kg of same HU fractions for 5 days resulted in significant (p<0.05) decreases in the fasting blood glucose concentrations with the most significant (p<0.01) antihyperglycaemic effect also recorded for HUb. Similarly, oral pretreatment with 50 mg/kg of HUAf significantly (p<0.05, p<0.01 and p<0.001) attenuated an increase in the post-absorptive glucose concentration at 1st – 6th h in the alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic OGTT model. In addition, alkaloid was present in most of the separated spots on the TLC plate. In conclusion, results of this study showed that HU contains a relative high amount of alkaloids which could have accounted for the antihyperglycaemic action of HU that was mediated via intestinal glucose uptake inhibition.
PMCID: PMC3744210  PMID: 23983315
Hunteria umbellata aqueous seed extract; Alkaloid fraction; Intestinal glucose uptake inhibition; Normal and alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic rats
20.  Analgesic and Antipyretic Activities of Drymaria Cordata (Linn.) Willd (Caryophyllaceae) Extract 
Drymaria cordata (Linn.) Willd (Caryophyllaceae) is an herbaceous plant widely used in traditional African medicine (TAM) for the treatment of diverse ailments including painful and febrile conditions. This study was conducted to investigate the analgesic and antipyretic properties of the whole plant extract of D. cordata. The acetic acid-induced writhing, formalin, and tail clip tests were used to evaluate analgesic activity while the 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP)-, d-amphetamine-, and yeast-induced hyperthermia tests were used to investigate antipyretic activity in rodents. D. cordata (100, 200, and 400 mg kg−1, p.o) produced significant (p<0.05) analgesic activity in the mouse writhing, formalin (second phase), and tail clip tests. The effects of D. cordata were generally comparable to those of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, 100 mg kg−1, p.o) and morphine (2 mg kg−1, s.c). Also, D. cordata produced significant (p<0.05) dose-dependent inhibition of temperature elevation in the 2,4-DNP and yeast-induced hyperthermia models with peak effects produced at the dose of 400 mg kg−1. The effect at this dose was comparable to that of ASA in the two models. In the d-amphetamine method, D. cordata produced significant (p<0.05) dose- and time-dependent reduction of temperature elevation with peak effect produced at the dose of 200 mg kg−1. The effect of the extract at this dose was greater than that of ASA. The results obtained in this study demonstrate that the aqueous whole plant extract of Drymaria cordata possesses analgesic and antipyretic properties mediated through peripheral and central mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3746538  PMID: 23983316
Drymaria cordata; Caryophyllaceae; analgesic activity; antipyretic activity; traditional African medicine (TAM)
21.  Advances in the Analytical Methods for Determining the Antioxidant Properties of Honey: A Review 
Free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in contributing to the processes of aging and disease. In an effort to combat free radical activity, scientists are studying the effects of increasing individuals' antioxidant levels through diet and dietary supplements. Honey appears to act as an antioxidant in more ways than one. In the body, honey can mop up free radicals and contribute to better health. Various antioxidant activity methods have been used to measure and compare the antioxidant activity of honey. In recent years, DPPH (Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power), ORAC (The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), ABTS [2, 2-azinobis (3ehtylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diamonium salt], TEAC [6-hydroxy-2, 5, 7, 8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid (Trolox)-equivalent antioxidant capacity] assays have been used to evaluate antioxidant activity of honey. The antioxidant activity of honey is also measured by ascorbic acid content and different enzyme assays like Catalase (CAT), Glutathione Peroxidase (GPO), Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). Among the different methods available, methods that have been validated, standardized and widely reported are recommended.
PMCID: PMC3746522  PMID: 23983317
Honey; antioxidant properties; DPPH; FRAP; ORAC; TEAC; ABTS
22.  Effects of Sutherlandia Frutescens Extracts on Normal T-Lymphocytes In Vitro 
Sutherlandia frutescens (SF), a popular traditional medicinal plant found in various parts of southern Africa, is used for treatment or management of HIV/AIDS and other diseases including cancer. However, its toxicity profile has not been fully established. The aims of this study were to examine the effects of 70% ethanol (SFE) and deionised water (SFW) extracts on normal isolated human T cells. An experimental study on normal human lymphocytes treated with doses SF extract doses ranging from 0.25 to 2.5 mg/ml. Untreated, vehicle-treated (Ethanol) and camptothecin (CPT) treated normal T cells were used as controls. Induction of cell death, changes in intracellular ATP, caspase-3/-7 activity and nuclear changes were analysed using flow cytometry, luminometry and nuclear staining (Hoechst) respectively. The highest concentration (2.5 mg/ml) of SFE extract induced significant necrosis (95%), depletion of ATP (76%), and inhibition of caspase-3/-7 activity (11%) following a 24 hour incubation period (p< 0.001). The 2.5 mg/ml concentration of SFW showed the same trend but were less effective (necrosis- 26%, ATP- 91%, & caspase-3/-7- 15%). These effects showed a time-dependence over 48 hours of incubation, with high doses of SFE extracts eliminating viable cells by necrosis, depleting ATP levels and decreasing caspase-3/-7 activity (p< 0.001). The activity of SFE extract was independent of ethanol. The SFW extract dilutions were less toxic than the SFE extracts. Significant DNA fragmentation as demonstrated by Hoechst staining was also seen over 48-hour incubation for high doses of both types of SF extracts. These results showed that although high concentrations of SF extracts can be toxic to normal T cells in vitro, SFW fractions were relatively safe for use.
PMCID: PMC3746523  PMID: 23983323
Sutherlandia frutescens; T lymphocytes; flow cytometry; luminometry; necrosis; apoptosis
23.  Recommendations for the Development of Regulatory Guidelines for Registration of Traditional Medicines in South Africa 
The regulation and registration of traditional medicines (TM) continues to present challenges to many countries regardless of the fact that an increased number of the population utilises TM for their health care needs. There have been improvements in the legal and policy framework of South Africa based on the WHO guidelines. However, there are currently no guidelines or framework for the registration of TM in South Africa. This article reviews literature and existing guidelines of specific countries and regions and makes recommendations for South African guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3746524  PMID: 23983321
Regulation; Registration; Traditional Medicines; South Africa
24.  The Influence of Phytotherapy on Prolactin Level in Macroprolactinoma Patients 
The study aims at demonstrating the efficiency of phytotherapy in regulation of prolactin levels in patients diagnosed with pituitary macroprolactinoma. The study made use of workup outcomes submitted by treating healthcare facilities where the patients were first diagnosed with macroprolactinomas based on diagnostic imaging (MRI and/or CT), laboratory workup, and hormone status estimation. The data in reference served as the baseline for a comparative follow-up of phytotherapeutic efficiency in terms of comparison of medical data obtained prior to phytotherapy and those submitted following herbal remedy use. The study displays the results of a five-year follow-up of macroprolactinoma patients undergoing phytotherapy. In well-responding patients, the benefit of phytotherapy in terms of prolactin level putdown can be seen 3–5 months following the phytotherapy commencement. A special attention should be paid to the favourable results obtained with patients who chose to resort to phytotherapy only. The primary outcome measure used to monitor the efficiency of the administered phytotherapy was prolactin level determined prior to, during the course of, and following phytotherapy. Implementation of phytotherapy to the effect of prolactin level regulation in patients diagnosed with macroprolactinoma, represents a completely novel therapeutic approach. The majority of the diseased resorted to phytotherapy once they were left out of any other therapeutic option offered by their treating healthcare facilities. This fact gives a substantial rise to the significance of the results presented herein and justifies the role of phytotherapy in macroprolactinoma-induced hyperprolactinaemia treatment.
PMCID: PMC3746525  PMID: 23983322
phytotherapy; macroprolactinoma; prolactin; pituitary gland
25.  Flavonoids from Sudanese Albizia Zygia (Leguminosae, Subfamily Mimo Soideae), A Plant with Antimalarial Potency 
Three flavonoids were isolated for the first time from the Sudanese medicinal plants Albizia zygia. Compounds 1–3 were identified by interpretation of ESI mass data, 1H, 13C and 2D NMR as well as by comparison with published data as 4′,7-dihydroxyflavanone (1) 3′,4′,7-trihydroxyflavone (2), 3-O-methylfisetin (3′,4′,7-trihydroxy-3-methoxyflavone, 3). All flavonoids were tested against Plasmodium falciparum, and only compound 2 showed high antimalarial activity (IC50 0.078 µg/ml).
PMCID: PMC3746526  PMID: 23983320
Albizia zygia; Mimosoideae; flavonoids; antimalarial activity

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