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  1. El-Seedi HR, Azeem M, Khalil NS, Sakr HH, Khalifa SAM, Awang K, et al.
    Exp. Appl. Acarol., 2017 Sep;73(1):139-157.
    PMID: 28864886 DOI: 10.1007/s10493-017-0165-3
    Due to the role of Ixodes ricinus (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae) in the transmission of many serious pathogens, personal protection against bites of this tick is essential. In the present study the essential oils from 11 aromatic Egyptian plants were isolated and their repellent activity against I. ricinus nymphs was evaluated Three oils (i.e. Conyza dioscoridis L., Artemisia herba-alba Asso and Calendula officinalis L.) elicited high repellent activity in vitro of 94, 84.2 and 82%, respectively. The most active essential oil (C. dioscoridis) was applied in the field at a concentration of 6.5 µg/cm2 and elicited a significant repellent activity against I. ricinus nymphs by 61.1%. The most repellent plants C. dioscoridis, C. officinalis and A. herba-alba yielded essential oils by 0.17, 0.11 and 0.14%, respectively. These oils were further investigated using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. α-Cadinol (10.7%) and hexadecanoic acid (10.5%) were the major components of C. dioscoridis whereas in C. officinalis, α-cadinol (21.2%) and carvone (18.2%) were major components. Artemisia herba-alba contained piperitone (26.5%), ethyl cinnamate (9.5%), camphor (7.7%) and hexadecanoic acid (6.9%). Essential oils of these three plants have a potential to be used for personal protection against tick bites.
  2. Murugesu S, Khatib A, Ahmed QU, Ibrahim Z, Uzir BF, Benchoula K, et al.
    Toxicol Rep, 2019;6:1148-1154.
    PMID: 31993329 DOI: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2019.10.020
    Clinacanthus nutans, an herbal shrub belonging to the Acanthaceae family, is traditionally used as a functional food to treat various ailments in Malaysia and Indonesia. Although the polar fraction of this plant shows non-toxic effect, the toxicity of the non-polar extract is not reported so far. The present study aimed to assess the toxic effect and determine the lethal concentration of this non-polar fraction using zebrafish embryos. The n-hexane fraction was partitioned from the crude extract of C. nutans obtained using 80% methanolic solution. After spawning of the adult male and female zebrafish, the eggs were collected, transferred into a 96-well plate and incubated with the n-hexane fraction at concentrations of 15.63 μg/ml, 31.25 μg/ml, 62.5 μg/ml, 125 μg/ml, 250 μg/ml and 500 μg/ml in 2% DMSO. The survival and sublethal endpoint were assessed, the mortality and hatchability rates were calculated based on microscopic observation, while the heartbeat rate was measured using DanioScope software. The median lethal concentration (LC50) of the C. nutans n-hexane fraction, which was determined using probit analysis, was calculated to be 75.49 μg/mL, which is harmful. Moreover, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis revealed the presence of palmitic acid, phytol, hexadecanoic acid, 1-monopalmitin, stigmast-5-ene, pentadecanoic acid, heptadecanoic acid, 1-linolenoylglycerol and stigmasterol in the n-hexane fraction.
  3. Benchoula K, Khatib A, Quzwain FMC, Che Mohamad CA, Wan Sulaiman WMA, Abdul Wahab R, et al.
    Molecules, 2019 Apr 17;24(8).
    PMID: 30999617 DOI: 10.3390/molecules24081506
    A standard protocol to develop type 1 diabetes in zebrafish is still uncertain due to unpredictable factors. In this study, an optimized protocol was developed and used to evaluate the anti-diabetic activity of Psychotria malayana leaf. The aims of this study were to develop a type 1 diabetic adult zebrafish model and to evaluate the anti-diabetic activity of the plant extract on the developed model. The ability of streptozotocin and alloxan at a different dose to elevate the blood glucose levels in zebrafish was evaluated. While the anti-diabetic activity of P. malayana aqueous extract was evaluated through analysis of blood glucose and LC-MS analysis fingerprinting. The results indicated that a single intraperitoneal injection of 300 mg/kg alloxan was the optimal dose to elevate the fasting blood glucose in zebrafish. Furthermore, the plant extract at 1, 2, and 3 g/kg significantly reduced blood glucose levels in the diabetic zebrafish. In addition, LC-MS-based fingerprinting indicated that 3 g/kg plant extract more effective than other doses. Phytosterols, sugar alcohols, sugar acid, free fatty acids, cyclitols, phenolics, and alkaloid were detected in the extract using GC-MS. In conclusion, P. malayana leaf aqueous extract showed anti-diabetic activity on the developed type 1 diabetic zebrafish model.
  4. Zahra MH, Salem TAR, El-Aarag B, Yosri N, El-Ghlban S, Zaki K, et al.
    Molecules, 2019 Jul 08;24(13).
    PMID: 31288458 DOI: 10.3390/molecules24132495
    BACKGROUND/AIM: Plants play an important role in anti-cancer drug discovery, therefore, the current study aimed to evaluate the biological activity of Alpinia zerumbet (A. zerumbet) flowers.

    METHODS: The phytochemical and biological criteria of A. zerumbet were in vitro investigated as well as in mouse xenograft model.

    RESULTS: A. zerumbet extracts, specially CH2Cl2 and MeOH extracts, exhibited the highest potent anti-tumor activity against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells. The most active CH2Cl2 extract was subjected to bioassay-guided fractionation leading to isolatation of the naturally occurring 5,6-dehydrokawain (DK) which was characterized by IR, MS, 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR. A. zerumbet extracts, specially MeOH and CH2Cl2 extracts, exhibited significant inhibitory activity towards tumor volume (TV). Furthermore, A. zerumbet extracts declined the high level of malonaldehyde (MDA) as well as elevated the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in liver tissue homogenate. Moreover, DK showed anti-proliferative action on different human cancer cell lines. The recorded IC50 values against breast carcinoma (MCF-7), liver carcinoma (Hep-G2) and larynx carcinoma cells (HEP-2) were 3.08, 6.8, and 8.7 µg/mL, respectively.

    CONCLUSION: Taken together, these findings open the door for further investigations in order to explore the potential medicinal properties of A. zerumbet.

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