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1.  The Antiplasmodial Agents of the Stem Bark of Entandrophragma Angolense (Meliaceae) 
In the search of active principles from the stem bark of Entandrophragma angolense, we submitted the compounds isolated from the dichloromethane - methanol (1:1) extract of the stem bark to antimalarial test against chloroquine resistant strain W2 of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite. Only 7α-obacunyl acetate and a cycloartane derivative exhibited a good activity, with IC50s of 2 and 5.4 µg/ml respectively. Other compounds were moderately active.
PMCID: PMC2816453  PMID: 20162084
Plasmodium falciparum; Meliaceae; Entandrophragma angolense; Limonoids; Fatty acids; Triterpenoids; 7α-obacunyl acetate; 24-methylenecycloartenol; anti-plasmodial activity
2.  Identifying Hearing Loss by Means of Iridology 
Isolated reports of hearing loss presenting as markings on the iris exist, but to date the effectiveness of iridology to identify hearing loss has not been investigated. This study therefore aimed to determine the efficacy of iridological analysis in the identification of moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in adolescents. A controlled trial was conducted with an iridologist, blind to the actual hearing status of participants, analyzing the irises of participants with and without hearing loss. Fifty hearing impaired and fifty normal hearing subjects, between the ages of 15 and 19 years, controlled for gender, participated in the study. An experienced iridologist analyzed the randomised set of participants' irises. A 70% correct identification of hearing status was obtained by iridological analyses with a false negative rate of 41% compared to a 19% false positive rate. The respective sensitivity and specificity rates therefore came to 59% and 81%. Iridological analysis of hearing status indicated a statistically significant relationship to actual hearing status (P < 0.05). Although statistically significant sensitivity and specificity rates for identifying hearing loss by iridology were not comparable to those of traditional audiological screening procedures.
PMCID: PMC2816452  PMID: 20162093
Audiology; Hearing loss; Iridology; Screening
3.  Medicinal Plants Useful for Malaria Therapy in Okeigbo, Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria 
There is increasing resistance of malaria parasites to chloroquine, the cheapest and commonly used drug for malaria in Nigeria. Artemisin, a product from medicinal plant indigenous to China, based on active principle of Artemisia annua, has been introduced into the Nigerian market. However not much has been done to project antimalaria properties of indigenous medicinal plants. This study thus, has the main objective of presenting medicinal plants used for malaria therapy in Okeigbo, Ondo State, South west Nigeria. Focus group discussions and interview were held about plants often found useful for malaria therapy in the community. Fifty species (local names) including for example: Morinda lucida (Oruwo), Enantia chlorantha (Awopa), Alstonia boonei (Ahun), Azadirachta indica (Dongoyaro) and Khaya grandifoliola (Oganwo) plants were found to be in use for malaria therapy at Okeigbo, Southwest, Nigeria . The parts of plants used could either be the barks, roots, leaves or whole plants. The recipes also, could be a combination of various species of plants or plant parts. This study highlights potential sources for the development of new antimalarial drugs from indigenous medicinal plants found in Okeigbo, Nigeria.
PMCID: PMC2816451  PMID: 20162091
Malaria; Medicinal plants; antimalarial drugs; Okeigbo; Southwest Nigeria
4.  Anthelmintic Efficacy of Nauclea Latifolia Extract Against Gastrointestinal Nematodes of Sheep: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies 
Direct effects of Nauclea latifolia extracts on different gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep is described. In vivo and in vitro studies were conducted to determine possible anthelmintic effect of leaf extracts of Nauclea latifolia toward different ovine gastro intestinal nematodes. A larval development assay was used to investigate in vitro, the effect of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of N. latifolia towards strongyles larvae. The development and survival of infective larvae (L3) was assessed and best-fit LC50 values were computed by global model of non-linear regression analysis curve-fitting (95% CI). Twenty sheep harbouring naturally acquired gastrointestinal nematodes were treated with oral administration of ethanolic extracts at a dose rate of 125 mg/kg, 250 mg/kg and 500mg/kg to evaluate therapeutic efficacy, in vivo.
The presence of the extracts in the cultures decreased the survival of larvae. The LC50 of aqueous and ethanolic extract were 0.704 and 0.650 mg/ml respectively and differ significantly (P<0.05, paired t test). Faecal egg counts (FEC) on day 12 after treatment showed that the extract is effective, relative to control (1-way ANOVA, Dunnett's multiple comparison test), at 500mg/kg against Haemonchus spp, Trichostrongylus spp (p<0.05), Strongyloides spp (P < 0.01); at 250mg/kg against Trichuris spp (P < 0.01) and ineffective against Oesophagostomum spp (p>0.05). The effect of doses is extremely significant; the day after treatment is sometimes significant while interaction between dose and day after treatment is insignificant (2-way ANOVA).
N. latifolia extract could therefore find application in the control of helminth in livestock, by the ethnoveterinary medicine approach.
PMCID: PMC2816450  PMID: 20162086
Anthelmintic activities; gastrointestinal nematodes; Nauclea latifolia; sheep
5.  Ethno-Medicinal Plants and Methods Used by Gwandara Tribe of Sabo Wuse in Niger State, Nigeria, to Treat Mental Illness 
The Gwandara people of Sabo Wuse in Niger State, Nigeria are the original inhabitants of Wuse in Abuja Municipal Area Council. They were resettled at this present location of Sabo Wuse from Wuse in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja when the seat of government moved from Lagos to Abuja 30 years ago. Sabo Wuse still remains relatively a remote settlement and their lifestyle unchanged. They still depend to a large extent on their traditional knowledge of medicinal plants to treat ailments. Ethnobotanical survey was conducted to identify and document methods traditionally utilized for treatment of mental illness and to expand the quality and quantity of information for research and development especially in the area of new drug discovery and development. About sixty seven (67) Traditional Medicine Practitioners were interviewed orally with use of questionnaire. From our survey, various methods were found to be used by the traditional medicine practitioners to treat mental illness and associated disorders. These include music, incantations and medicinal plants in various formulations - decoction, powder, infusion - which are administered in various ways like fumigation, inhalation, bathing, steaming and drinking. Eighteen plant species belonging to twelve different families were documented to be included in these therapies. In conclusion, there is an array of plants used locally to treat mental illness and it is recommended that such surveys should be funded and leads for drugs to treat mental illness obtained from such, at the same time documenting our indigenous knowledge.
PMCID: PMC2816449  PMID: 20162094
mental illness; indigenous knowledge; ethno- medicinal plants
6.  Brine Shrimp Toxicity Evaluation of Some Tanzanian Plants Used Traditionally for the Treatment of Fungal Infections 
Plants which are used by traditional healers in Tanzania have been evaluated to obtain preliminary data of their toxicity using the brine shrimps test. The results indicate that 9 out of 44 plant species whose extracts were tested exhibited high toxicity with LC50 values below 20µg/ml. These include Aloe lateritia Engl. (Aloaceae) [19.1µg/ml], Cassia abbreviata Oliv. (Caesalpiniaceae) [12.7µg/ml], Croton scheffleri Pax (Euphorbiaceae) [13.7µg/ml], Hymenodactyon parvifolium Brig (Rubiaceae) [13.4µg/ml], Kigelia Africana L. (Bignoniaceae) [7.2µg/ml], and Ocimum suave Oliv. (Labiatae) [16.7µg/ml]. Twelve plants gave LC50 values between 21 and 50µg/ml, 11 plants gave LC50 values between 50 and 100 µg/ml, and 18 plants gave LC50 values greater than 100 µg/ml.
PMCID: PMC2816448  PMID: 20162095
Brine shrimp test; Toxicity evaluation; Traditional antifungal plants
7.  Acute and Subchronic Toxicity of Anacardium Occidentale Linn (Anacardiaceae) Leaves Hexane Extract in Mice 
These studies focus on the toxicity leaf hexane extract of A. occidentale L (Anacardiaceae) used in Cameroon traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes and hypertension. Previous findings on antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory have given support to the ethnopharmacological applications of the plant. After acute oral administration, it was found that doses of the extract less than 6 g/kg are not toxic. Signs of toxicity at high doses were asthenia, anorexia, diarrhoea, and syncope. The LD50 of the extract, determined in mice of both sexes after oral administration was 16 g/kg. In the subchronic study, mice received A. occidentale at doses of 6, 10 and 14 g/kg (by oral route) for 56 days. At doses of 2, 6 and 10 g/kg of extract, repeated oral administration to mice produced a reduction in food intake, weight gain, and behavioural effects. Liver or the kidney function tests were assessed by determining serum parameters like, creatinine, transaminases, and urea. All these parameters were significantly (p<0.01) abnormal. Histopatological studies revealed evidence of microcopic lesions either in the liver or in the kidney which may be correlated with biochemical disturbances. We conclude that toxic effects of A. occidentale L hexane leaf extract occurred at higher doses than those used in Cameroon folk medicine.
PMCID: PMC2816447  PMID: 20162085
Toxicity; Anacardum occidentale; Hexane extract; mice
8.  Screening of Twenty-Four South African Combretum and Six Terminalia Species (Combretaceae) for Antioxidant Activities 
The dried leaves of Combretum and Terminalia species (Combretaceae) were extracted with acetone, hexane, dichloromethane and methanol. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) plates were developed under saturated conditions and sprayed with 0.2% 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) in methanol for antioxidant screening. Visualization of separated bands exhibiting antioxidant activities enabled the localization and the subsequent identification of the potential active compounds. The acetone and methanol extracts displayed the presence of antioxidant activity after spraying the chromatogram with DPPH. Hexane and dichloromethane extracts did not have any antioxidant activity. C. hereroense had the highest number of active compounds, followed by C. collinum ssp. taborense, which were 16 and 10, respectively. Acetone extracts of all tested Combretum species had 53 active bands and methanol had 55. All Terminalia species extracted with acetone and methanol had antioxidant activity. T. gazensis and T. mollis methanol extracts had 11 and 14 active compounds respectively in one of the solvent systems used. The qualitative DPPH assay on TLC was successfully used in this study to systematically assess the total antioxidant activity of the Combretum and Terminalia species extracts.
PMCID: PMC2816446  PMID: 20162097
Combretaceae; Terminalia species; Combretum species; Antioxidant; 2, 2, diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)
9.  Anticonvulsant Activity of Diospyros Fischeri Root Extracts 
Diospyros fischeri Gurke (Ebenaceae) is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of epilepsy. Dichloromethane, ethylacetate, and ethanol extracts of the roots, at doses between 100 and 1600 mg/kg BW, inhibited convulsions induced by the γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAa) receptor antagonist, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), in a dose dependent manner. The extracts also exhibited low toxicity against brine shrimps giving LC50 values between 45.4 and 95.4 µg/ml. These results provide evidence for the potential of D. fischeri extracts to treat absence seizures, especially given their seemingly innocuous nature.
PMCID: PMC2816445  PMID: 20162096
Diospyros fischeri; Pentylenetetrazole; Anticonvulsant activity; Brine shrimp toxicity
11.  Acute and Subacute Toxicity of Aspilia Africana Leaves 
This study was designed to evaluate the toxicity of the aqueous extract of Aspilia africana leaves. Oral doses of 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg were administered for 28 days to rats after every 2 days for sub-acute toxicity. For acute toxicity, 5 doses of 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16g/Kg body weight were investigated in mice. The control groups consisted of mice or rats administered with distilled water. The signs of toxicity fluctuated lightly from one mammal to another throughout the experiment. The liver, kidneys and heart weight of rats revealed no significant differences between the test groups and the control. The results indicated that the medium lethal dose (LD50) was found to be greater in females than males with an average of 6.6g/Kg body weight for both sexes. Regardless of the significant differences observed at certain points in some biochemical parameters (ALT, AST, ALP, Creatinine and Glutathione); none showed any linear dose responsiveness. On the other hand, most of the parameters investigated were found to be gender dependent. These results suggested that A Africana can be classified among substances with low toxicity.
PMCID: PMC2816443  PMID: 20162083
Aspilia africana; Asteraceae; toxicities; dose responsiveness
12.  Antibacterial Screening of Aegle Marmelos, Lawsonia Inermis and Albizzia Libbeck 
Three medicinal plant Aegle marmelos, Lawsonia inermis, Albizzia libbeck were extracted by soxhlet apparatus using petroleum ether, ethanol, chloroform and aqueous as solvent. Among those extract, the petroleum ether was considered as effective one. The extracts were subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening and the three plants with four extracts were tested against three Gram positive bacteria (B.cereus, B.subtilis, S. aureus) and three Gram negative bacteria (E.coli, P.vulgaris, and P.aeruginosa) by disc diffusion method. Maximum inhibition (3.8cm) was recorded in Lawsonia inermis. It also showed inhibitory action against all the six pathogen tested. The zone of inhibition of the extracts was compared with the standard antibiotics Streptomycin and Spectinomycin. The study suggests that the plant is promising the development of phytomedicine for antimicrobial properties.
PMCID: PMC2816442  PMID: 20162092
Antibacterial activity; Aegle marmelos; Lawsonia inermis; Albizzia libbeck
13.  Prevention of Radiation Induced Hematological Alterations by Medicinal Plant Rosmarinus Officinalis, in Mice 
The modulatory influence of Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaves extract was investigated in Swiss albino mice at a dose of 3 Gy gamma radiation. For this purpose, adult Swiss albino mice were irradiated with 3 Gy gamma rays in the presence (experimental) or absence (control) of rosemary (1000 mg/kg body wt.). These animals were necropsied and their blood was collected at days 1, 3, 5, 10, 20 and 30 post-irradiation. A decrease in the number of erythrocyte and leucocyte counts, hemoglobin content and hematocrit percentage was scored in the control group; whereas a recovery pattern was recorded in experimental animals and a normal value of hematological parameters were regained by day 30 post-treatment. In irradiated group, glutathione level was registered low in the blood, whereas a significant elevation was estimated in rosemary pre-treated animals. An increase in lipid peroxidation level above normal was evident in serum of irradiated mice, while a significant decrease in such values was noted in rosemary pretreated group. The present study suggests the possible radioprotective ability of rosemary extract.
PMCID: PMC2816441  PMID: 20162088
Gamma radiation; Glutathione; Hematology; Lipid peroxidation; Rosmarinus officinalis; Swiss albino mice
14.  Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Some Nigerian Medicinal Plants 
Ten Nigerian plants suggested from their ethnomedical uses to possess antimicrobial and antioxidant activities were studied for their anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. Antimicrobial activity was tested against Escherichia coli NCTC 10418, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans, Candida pseudotropicalis and Trichophyton rubrum (clinical isolate). Trichilia heudelotti leaf extract showed both antibacterial and antifungal activities and was the most active against all the strains of bacteria tested. Boerhavia diffusa, Markhamia tomentosa and T. heudelotti leaf extracts inhibited the gram negative bacteria E.coli and P. aeruginosa strains whereas those of M. tomentosa, T. heudelotti and Sphenoceutrum jollyamum root inhibited at least one of the fungi tested. At a concentration of 312 µg/ml, hexane and chloroform fractions of T. heudelotti extract inhibited 6 and 14% of the fifty mult-idrug resistant bacteria isolates from clinical infectins, respectively. At ≤ 5mg/ml, the CHCl3 (64%) and aqueous (22%) fractions of T. heudelotti and those of CHCl3 (34%) and EtOAC (48%) of M. tomentosa gave the highest inhibition that was stronger than their corresponding methanol extracts. The corresponding EC50 of the extracts on M. acuminata, T. heudelotti, E. senegalensis and M. tomentosa were 4.00, 6.50, 13.33, and 16.50 ig/ml using the TLC staining and 1,1-dipheyl-2-picry-hydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay. Therefore, leaf extracts of M. tomentosa and T. heudelotti, especially the latter, possess strong antimicrobial and antioxidant activities and should be further investigated. These activities justified the ethnomedical uses of these plants.
PMCID: PMC2816440  PMID: 20162089
Antimicrobial; antifungal; antioxidant properties; Nigerian medicinal plants
15.  Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Aqueous Extract from Leaves of Solanum Torvum (Solanaceae) 
Solanum torvum is used in Cameroonian traditional medicine for the management of pain and inflammation. The present work assesses the pain-killing and anti-inflammatory properties of the aqueous extracts of Solanum torvum leaves. Acetic acid- and pressure- induced pains were reduced by this extract while carrageenan-induced inflammation was inhibited at various doses of the extract. The extract therefore has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
PMCID: PMC2816439  PMID: 20162098
Analgesic; inflammation; Solanum torvum; writhing; Analgesy Meter
16.  Evaluation of the Antimicrobial Properties of Different Parts of Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime Fruit) as Used Locally 
We investigated the potency of Citrus aurantifolia (Lime fruit), against pathogens, in the different forms in which this fruit plant is used locally (juice of the fruit, burnt rind of the fruit commonly known as “epa-ijebu” in the Yoruba dialect) and the oil obtained from steam distillation of the fruit. The antimicrobial activity of “epa-ijebu” in different solvents was also compared. The solvents include palm-wine (a local alcoholic drink tapped from palm trees), Seaman's Schnapps 40% alcoholic drink, water, ethanol and fermented water from 3 days soaked milled maize known as “ekan-ogi” or “omidun” in the Yoruba dialect. Antimicrobial activity was carried out by the agar well diffusion. The clinical isolates used included Anaerobic facultative bacteria, namely: Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25213, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella paratyphi, Shigella flexnerii, Streptococcus faecalis, Citrobacter spp, Serratia spp, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, and Escherichia coli; Fungi such as Aspergilus niger and Candida albicans; and Anaerobes which includes Bacteroides spp, Porphyromonas spp, and Clostridium spp. Crude extracts of all solvents used varied in zones of inhibition. The anaerobes and the Gram-positive bacteria were susceptible to all the extracts with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranging from 32mg/ml–128g/ml. The activity against the fungi showed only the oil extract potent for A. niger, while Candida albicans was susceptible to all the extracts with MIC ranging from 256mg/ml–512mg/ml. The Gram-negatives have MIC ranging from 64mg/ml–512mg/ml. Minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) ranged between 32mg/ml to 512mg/ml depending on isolates and extracting solvent. The oil and palm-wine extract of “epa-ijebu” showed greater activity than the other extracts. The killing rate of the schnapps extract on S. aureus and E. coli was 1 and 3.5 hours respectively.
PMCID: PMC2816438  PMID: 20162090
17.  Biological Activities of Schefflera Leucantha 
This study investigated various biological activities of the ethanolic extract of dried ground leaves of Schefflera leucantha Viguier (Araliaceae). The extract possessed very low cytotoxicity to brine-shrimp with the LC50 of 4,111.15µg/ml; the significant antioxidant activity on DPPH with the EC50 of 71.90µg/ml; the inhibitory activity on mushroom tyrosinase with the IC50 of 10.53mg/ml using the dopachrome microplate-assay. The extract of 5–20mg/ml range in the agar dilution assay were active against various pathogenic microbial (11 species, 11 strains), with the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 5mg/ml against Clostridium spp.; MIC=10mg/ml against enteropathogens as Bacteroides spp., Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 29212, Lactobacillus spp., Peptococcus spp. and Streptococcus mutans; MIC=10mg/ml against a pneumonia causing bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae and a dermatopathogen as Propionibacterium acnes; MIC=20mg/ml against dermatopathogens as Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Streptococcus spp. and Candida albicans ATCC 90028. TLC fingerprints of the specific extracts from the leaf powder exhibited zones of steroids-terpenes and flavonoids. HPLC fingerprint of the flavonoid extract was performed.
PMCID: PMC2816437  PMID: 20162087
Schefflera leucantha; Antioxidant; Antityrosinase; Antimicrobial activity; Phytochemistry
18.  Naphthaquinones of Alkanna Orientalis (L.) BOISS 
The roots of Alkanna orientalis (L.) Boiss yielded α- methyl-n-butyl alkannin (compound 1) and alkannin acetate (compound 2). The compounds were identified by UV, MS, 1H NMR and 13C NMR. Quantitative determination of α- methyl-n-butyl alkannin and alkannin acetate in Alkanna orientalis (L) Boiss roots was established by TLC densitometry.
PMCID: PMC2816436  PMID: 20162072
Alkanna orientalis; naphthaquinones; NMR; α- methyl-n-butyl alkannin; alkannin acetate; TLC densitometry
19.  The Effect of a Local Mineral Kadosero Towards the Antimicrobial Activity of Medicinal Plant's Extract: Case of Lake Victoria Basin, Tarime Tanzania 
The effect of Kadosero, a crude mineral used by traditional healers as a supplement to plant extracts against microbial infections was evaluated. A sample of kadosero from a local market was both analyzed for its basic composition and its role on bioactivity of plant extract. Titrimetric, Gravimetric and Atomic Absorption Spectrometric analyses were used to determine contents of the mineral kadosero. Disc Diffusion Assay was used for bioactivity screening in-vitro. Chemical analysis of kadosero revealed the presence of SO4−2 (0.0038mg/g), Fe2 (0.0027mg/g), Cl− (232.683mg/g) and Na+ (151.25mg/g). In-vitro tests revealed that supplementing extract of Balanites aegyptiaca with a mineral kadosero by using untreated well water reduced number of bacterial from 100 colony forming units to nil at a mass of a mineral between 60–100 mg. On the other hand, a mineral kadosero did not increase bioactivity of the extract of B. aegyptiaca against the test microbes in agar disc diffusion assay. This was attributed by interaction between the mineral kadosero and nutrient agar medium. The crude mineral kadosero can be supplemented to other plant extracts used locally for treatment of general bacterial infections for increased bioactivity. Further study is recommended to determine mechanisms for bacterial vulnerability to this mineral supplement.
PMCID: PMC2816435  PMID: 20162065
Mineral supplement; Plant extract; Traditional healers
22.  Chemopreventive Effect of Cousinia Shulabadensis Attar & Ghahraman Ethanol Extract 
Matrix metalloprotainases (MMPs) play an important role in several pathologic processes such as malignancy in which they facilitate invasion and metastasis and can be targets for anticancer therapies. Here, in this study, we investigated the cytotoxicity effect of Cousinia shulabadensis Attar & Ghahraman extract as well as its impact on MMPs activity using a model of cell line (Fibrosarcoma-Wehi164). To assess anti-invasiveness potentials, a modified zymoanalysis method was used to measure MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities in the conditioned-media. The concentration necessary to produce 50% cell death was >80µg/ml for ethanol extract of Cousinia shulabadensis, while a 23 µg/ml concentration of the diclofenac sodium produced the same effect. The invasion of WEHI 164 cells was considerably inhibited at concentrations > 20 µg/ml by total plant extract. The total extract of the plant did not show high toxicity at all tested concentrations, but demonstrated significant inhibition of MMP activity in dose-response fashion.
PMCID: PMC2816432  PMID: 20162067
anti-invasive activity; chemoprevention; cytotoxicity; Cousinia shulabadensis; matrix metalloproteinases
23.  Estrogenic and Pregnancy Interceptory Effects of Achyranthes Aspera Linn. Root 
Achyranthes aspera Linn. (Amaranthaceae) is an abundant indigenous herb in India. It is traditionally being used as an abortifacient. Four successive solvent extracts of the root were screened for antifertility activity in female albino rats. The chloroform and ethanol extracts exhibited 100% anti-implantation activity when given orally at 200 mg/kg body weight. Both the extracts at the dose of 200 mg/kg body weight also exhibited estrogenic activity. Histological studies of the uterus were carried out to confirm this estrogenic activity.
PMCID: PMC2816431  PMID: 20162066
Achyranthes aspera; Antifertility; Anti-implantation; Estrogenic; Uterotropic
24.  Potential of Neuroprotective Antioxidant-Based Therapeutics from Peltophorum Africanum Sond.(Fabaceae) 
There is ample scientific and empirical evidence supporting the use of plant-derived antioxidants for the control of neurodegenerative disorders. Antioxidants may have neuroprotective (preventing apoptosis) and neuroregenerative roles, by reducing or reversing cellular damage and by slowing progression of neuronal cell loss. Although demand for phytotherapeutic agents is growing, there is need for their scientific validation before plant-derived extracts gain wider acceptance and use. We have evaluated antioxidant potential of Peltophorum africanum (weeping wattle), a plant widespread in the tropics and traditionally used, inter alia, for the relief of acute and chronic pain, anxiety and depression. The dried leaves, bark and root of P. africanum were extracted with acetone. Thin layer chromatograms were sprayed with 0.2% 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) in methanol for screening for antioxidants. Quantification of antioxidant activity was assessed against 6-hydroxy-2, 5,7,8-tetramethylchromane-2-carboxylic acid (Trolox) and L-ascorbic acid (both standard antioxidants), using two free radicals, 2,2′-azinobis (3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and DPPH, respectively. Results of our study show that the bark and root extracts had higher antioxidant activity than L-ascorbic acid and Trolox, a synthetic vitamin-E analogue. The respective TEAC (Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity) values for the bark and root extracts, and Trolox were 1.08, 1.28 and 1.0. EC50 values for L-ascorbic acid (5.04 µg/mL) was more active than the leaf 6.54 (µg/mL), but much less active than the bark (4.37 µg/mL) and root (3.82 µg/mL) extracts. Continued work on P. africanum, and other plants rich in antioxidants, may avail neuroscientists with potent neuroprotective antioxidant therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC2816430  PMID: 20162078
Antioxidant; Extracts; Neurodegeneration; Neuroprotection; Oxidative stress; Peltophorum africanum
25.  Protective Effect of Quercetin on the Morphology of Pancreatic β-Cells of Streptozotocin-Treated Diabetic Rats 
This study was undertaken to investigate the protective effects of quercetin (QCT) on the morphology of pancreatic β-cells against diabetes mellitus and oxidative stress experimentally-induced by streptozotocin (STZ) treatment in Wistar rats. Fifty male and female Wistar rats (200–250 g) were randomly divided into three experimental groups (i. e., control, STZ-treated, and STZ + Quercetin-treated groups). Diabetes was induced in the diabetic groups (B and C) of animals, by a single intraperitoneal injection of STZ (75 mg/kg), while each of the rats in the ‘control’ group received equal volume of citrate buffer (pH 6.3) solution intraperitoneally. In group C rats, quercetin (QCT, 25 mg/kg/day i. p.) was injected daily for 3 days prior to STZ treatment, and QCT administration continued until the end of the study period (30 days). Diabetes mellitus was confirmed by using Bayer's Glucometer Elite® and compatible blood glucose test strips. The rats were sacrificed serially until the end of the study period (after 30 days). The pancreases of the sacrificed rats were excised and randomly processed for histological staining and biochemical assays for antioxidant enzymes [such as glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), malondialdehyde (MDA) and serum nitric oxide (NO)]. In the diabetic state, pancreatic β-cells of STZ-treated group B rats histologically demonstrated an early chromatin aggregation, cytoplasmic vesiculation in the central β-cells, nuclear shrinkage, and lysis of β-cells with distortion of granules. The morphology of QCT-treated rats' pancreases showed viable cellularity with distinct β-cell mass. STZ treatment significantly decreased (p<0.05) GSHPx, SOD, CAT and pancreatic insulin content. However, STZ treatment increased blood glucose concentrations, MDA and serum NO. The QCT-treated group of animals showed a significant decrease (p<0.05) in elevated blood glucose, MDA and NO. Furthermore, QCT treatment significantly increased (p<0.05) antioxidant enzymes' activities, as well as pancreatic insulin contents. Quercetin (QCT) treatment protected and preserved pancreatic β-cell architecture and integrity. In conclusion, the findings of the present experimental animal study indicate that QCT treatment has beneficial effects on pancreatic tissues subjected to STZ-induced oxidative stress by directly quenching lipid peroxides and indirectly enhancing production of endogenous antioxidants.
PMCID: PMC2816429  PMID: 20162074
Quercetin; Streptozotocin; Antioxidant enzymes; Pancreatic β-cell

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