ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Phyllanthus niruri Linn. (Euphorbiaceae) is used as folk medicine in South America to treat excess uric acid. Our initial study showed that the methanol extract of Phyllanthus niruri and its lignans were able to reverse the plasma uric acid of hyperuricemic animals.
AIM OF THE STUDY: The study was undertaken to investigate the mechanisms of antihyperuricemic effect of Phyllanthus niruri and its lignan constituents.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The mechanisms were investigated using xanthine oxidase assay and uricosuric studies in potassium oxonate- and uric acid-induced hyperuricemic rats.
RESULTS: Phyllanthus niruri methanol extract exhibited in vitro xanthine oxidase inhibition with an IC50 of 39.39 microg/mL and a moderate in vivo xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity. However, the lignans display poor xanthine oxidase inhibition in vitro and a relatively weak in vivo inhibitory activity at 10mg/kg. On the other hand, intraperitoneal treatment with Phyllanthus niruri methanol extract showed 1.69 folds increase in urinary uric acid excretion when compared to the hyperuricemic control animals. Likewise, the lignans, phyllanthin, hypophyllanthin and phyltetralin exhibited up to 2.51 and 11.0 folds higher in urinary uric acid excretion and clearance, respectively. The co-administration of pyrazinamide with phyllanthin exhibited a significant suppression of phyllanthin's uricosuric activity resembling that of pyrazinamide with benzbromarone.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study showed that the antihyperuricemic effect of Phyllanthus niruri methanol extract may be mainly due to its uricosuric action and partly through xanthine oxidase inhibition, whereas the antihyperuricemic effect of the lignans was attributed to their uricosuric action.
A simple analytical method using HPLC with fluorescence detection was developed for the simultaneous determination of four lignans, phyllanthin (1), hypophyllanthin (2), phyltetralin (3) and niranthin (4) from Phyllanthus niruri L. in plasma. The method recorded limits of detection for 1, 2, 3 and 4 as 1.22, 6.02, 0.61 and 1.22 ng/ml, respectively, at a signal-to-noise ratio of 5:1 whereas their limits of quantification were 4.88, 24.41, 4.88 and 9.76 ng/ml, respectively, at a signal-to-noise ratio of 12:1. These values were comparable to those of other sensitive methods such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high-performance liquid chromatography-MS (HPLC-MS) and HPLC-electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD) for the analysis of plasma lignans. A further advantage over known methods was its simple protocol for sample preparation. The within-day and between-day accuracies for the analysis of the four lignans were between 87.69 and 110.07% with precision values below 10.51%. Their mean recoveries from extraction were between 91.39 and 114.67%. The method was successfully applied in the pharmacokinetic study of lignans in rats. Following intravenous administration, the lignans were eliminated slowly from the body with a mean clearance of 0.04, 0.01, 0.03 and 0.02 l/kg h and a mean half-life of 3.56, 3.87, 3.35 and 4.40 h for 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Their peak plasma concentration upon oral administration was 0.18, 0.56, 0.12 and 0.62 microg/ml, respectively, after 1h. However, their absorption was incomplete with a calculated absolute oral bioavailability of 0.62, 1.52, 4.01 and 2.66% for 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively.
A new and simple analytical method using HPLC with fluorescence detection was developed for the simultaneous determination of four lignans (phyllanthin, hypophyllanthin, phyltetralin and niranthin) in Phyllanthus niruri L. plant samples. Optimal separation was achieved with an isocratic mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile-water (55:45 v/v). The method recorded limits of detection (S/N=5) for phyllanthin at 0.61 ng/mL, hypophyllanthin at 6.02 ng/mL, phyltetralin at 0.61 ng/mL and niranthin at 1.22 ng/mL, being 80, 8, 80 and 40 times, respectively, lower when compared with those derived using HPLC-UV detection. The limits of quantification (S/N=12) were 4.88 ng/mL for phyllanthin and phyltetralin, 9.76 ng/mL for niranthin and 24.4 ng/mL for hypophyllanthin showing 40, 8 and 20 times, respectively, lower than those from the UV detection method. The within-day and between-day accuracy for the four lignans were between 98.1% and 102.9% while their precision values were below 2.2%. The mean recovery was between 92.5% and 110.1%. The method was then successfully applied for the quantification of lignans in P. niruri plant samples. The highest amount of lignans was found in the leaves followed by fruits, branches and stem, whilst the roots have the least amount of lignans.
The methanol extract from the leaves of Phyllanthus niruri L. showed oral antihyperuricemic activity in potassium oxonate- and uric acid-induced hyperuricemic rats. Fractionation of the extract by resin chromatography led to the isolation of a less polar fraction which exhibited the highest reduction of plasma uric acid. Further antihyperuricemic-guided purification of the fraction afforded three lignans, phyllanthin (1), hypophyllanthin (2) and phyltetralin (3), of which 1 significantly reversed the plasma uric acid level of hyperuricemic animals to its normal level in a dose-dependent manner, comparable to that of allopurinol, benzbromarone and probenecid which are used clinically for the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout. Thus, the lignans of P. niruri are potential antihyperuricemic agents worthy of further investigation.
A biochemical genetic study of the enzyme malate dehydrogenase (MDH) was conducted in the grasshopper Oxya j. japonica. Analysis of MDH electrophoretic variation in this species of grasshopper shows that one of the two autosomal loci for MDH in grasshoppers, the Mdh-2 locus, controlling the anodal set of MDH isozymes, is duplicated. Results of breeding studies confirm this and the observed polymorphism at the Mdh-2 locus in the two populations of Oxya j. japonica studied can be attributed to three forms of linked alleles at the duplicated locus in equilibrium in both populations. In this respect, all individuals of this species possess heterozygous allelic combinations at the duplicated Mdh-2 locus, which may account for the spread of the duplicated locus in the populations of this species of grasshopper.
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Lippia nodiflora has been traditionally used in the Ayurvedic, Unani, and Sidha systems, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the treatment of knee joint pain, lithiasis, diuresis, urinary disorder and swelling.
AIM OF THE STUDY: The present study aims to investigate the antihyperuricemic effect of the L. nodiflora methanol extract, fractions, and chemical constituents and their mechanism of action in the rat model.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The mechanisms were investigated by performing xanthine oxidase inhibitory, uricosuric, and liver xanthine oxidase/xanthine dehydrogenase (XOD/XDH) inhibitory studies in potassium oxonate- and hypoxanthine-induced hyperuricemic rats. The plant safety profile was determined using acute toxicity study. The molecular docking of the active compound to the xanthine oxidase was simulated using computer aided molecular modeling analysis.
RESULTS: Oral administration of methanol extract showed a dose-dependent reduction effect on the serum uric acid level of hyperuricemic rats. F3 was the most potent fraction in lowering the serum uric acid level of hyperuricemic rats. Bioactivity-guided purification of F3 afforded two phenylethanoid glycosides, arenarioside (1) and verbascoside (2) and three flavonoids, 6-hydroxyluteolin (3), 6-hydroxyluteolin-7-O-glycoside (4), and nodifloretin (5). The highest serum uric acid reduction effect was exhibited by 3 (66.94%) in hyperuricemic rats, followed by 5 (55.97%), 4 (49.16%), 2 (29.03%), and 1 (22.08%) at 0.2 mmol/kg. Dose-response investigation on 3 at doses of 0.05, 0.1, and 0.3 mmol/kg produced a significant dose-dependent reduction on the serum uric acid level of hyperuricemic rats. Repeated administration of F3 or 3 to the hyperuricemic rats for 10 continuous days resulted in a significant and progressive serum uric acid lowering effect in hyperuricemic rats. In contrast, methanol extract and F3 did not reduce serum uric acid level of normoruricemic rats. In addition, F4 significantly increased the uric acid excretion of hyperuricemic rats at 200mg/kg. No toxic effect was observed in rats administered with 5000 mg/kg of methanol extract or F3.
CONCLUSION: The potential application of L. nodiflora against hyperuricemia in the animal in accordance with its traditional uses has been demonstrated in the present study for the first time. The antihyperuricemic effect possessed by L. nodiflora was contributed mainly by liver XOD/XDH inhibitory activities and partially by uricosuric effect. Flavonoids mainly accountable for the uric acid lowering effect of L. nodiflora through the inhibition of XOD/XDH activities.
KEYWORDS: Antihyperuricemic; Hypoxanthine-induced hyperuricemic rat; Lippia nodiflora; Liver xanthine oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase; Serum uric acid; Uric acid excretion
The roots of Eurycoma longifolia Jack are popularly sought as herbal medicinal supplements to improve libido and general health amongst the local ethnic population. The major quassinoids of E. longifolia improved spermatogenesis and fertility but toxicity studies have not been well documented. The reproductive toxicity, two generation of foetus teratology and the up-and-down acute toxicity were investigated in Sprague-Dawley rats orally treated with quassinoid-rich E. longifolia extract (TAF273). The results showed that the median lethal dose (LD50 ) of TAF273 for female and male rats was 1293 and >2000 mg/kg, respectively. Fertility index and litter size of the TAF273 treated were significantly increased when compared with those of the non-treated animals. The TAF273-treated dams decreased in percentage of pre-implantation loss, post-implantation loss and late resorption. No toxic symptoms were observed on the TAF273-treated pregnant female rats and their foetuses were normal. The no-observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) obtained from reproductive toxicity and teratology studies of TAF273 in rats was 100 mg/kg body weight/day, being more than 10-fold lower than the LD50 value. Thus, any human dose derived from converting the rat doses of 100 mg/kg and below may be considered as safe for further clinical studies.
An extensive comparative study on the electrospray ionization (ESI) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) mass spectrometry using automated flow injection analysis (FIA), was performed on eurycomanone (1), 13α(21)-epoxyeurycomanone (2), eurycomanol (3), eurycomanol-2-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (4), and 13,21-dihydroeurycomanone (5), the bioactive markers isolated from Eurycoma longifolia. The effects of eluent mixture (methanol or acetonitrile in water) and acidic modifiers (acetic acid, formic acid and trifluoroacetic acid) on the ionization efficiency of the markers were also investigated. The ESI in the positive ion mode with methanol containing 0.1% (v/v) acetic acid was selected for the subsequent optimization of nebulizer pressure, dry gas flow, dry gas temperature and capillary voltage to improve the sensitivity of the total ion chromatogram (TIC). Fragmentation of the analytes was further investigated by varying the capillary exit offset voltage and fragmentation amplitude in positive mode of ESI. The detection limits (LODs) were determined in isolation mode (selected ion monitoring, SIM). Their limits of detection (LODs) ranged between 0.03 and 0.1μgmL(-1) while the intra-day and inter-day precisions were less than 5.72% and 4.82%, respectively. The method was next applied for the simultaneous analysis of the markers to standardize various batches of manufactured extracts of E. longifolia for potential use as antimalarial products. Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) mode was used for the quantification of analytes which gave protonated molecular ion, [M+H](+). For those without pseudo-molecular ions, SIM mode was used to quantify the analytes. The batches contained 5.65-9.95% of eurycomanone (1), 5.21-19.75% of eurycomanol (3) and 7.59-19.95% of eurycomanol-2-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (4) as major quassinoids whereas, 13α(21)-epoxyeurycomanone (2), and 13,21-dihydroeurycomanone (5) were much lower in concentrations of 0.78-3.90% and 0.47-1.76%, respectively.
Eurycoma longifolia Jack, a small Simaroubaceae tree, known locally as 'Tongkat Ali' is popularly used as a sexual tonic in traditional medicine for aphrodisiac activity and improvement of fertility and male libido.
A series of novel aurones bearing amine and carbamate functionalities at various positions (rings A and/or B) of the scaffold was synthesized and evaluated for their acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activities. Structure-activity relationship study disclosed several potent submicromolar acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) particularly aurones bearing piperidine and pyrrolidine moieties at ring A or ring B. Bulky groups particularly methoxyls, and carbamate to a lesser extent, at either rings were also prominently featured in these AChEI aurones as exemplified by the trimethoxyaurone 4-3. The active aurones exhibited a lower butyrylcholinesterase inhibition. A 3'-chloroaurone 6-3 originally designed to improve the metabolic stability of the scaffold was the most potent of the series. Molecular docking simulations showed these AChEI aurones to adopt favourable binding modes within the active site gorge of the Torpedo californica AChE (TcAChE) including an unusual chlorine-π interaction by the chlorine of 6-3 to establish additional bondings to hydrophobic residues of TcAChE. Evaluation of the potent aurones for their blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and metabolic stability using PAMPA-BBB assay and in vitro rat liver microsomes (RLM) identified 4-3 as an aurone with an optimal combination of high passive BBB permeability and moderate CYP450 metabolic stability. LC-MS identification of a mono-hydroxylated metabolite found in the RLM incubation of 4-3 provided an impetus for further improvement of the compound. Thus, 4-3, discovered within this present series is a promising, drug-like lead for the development of the aurones as potential multipotent agents for Alzheimer's disease.
The plant Typhonium flagelliforme (Araceae), commonly known as the 'rodent tuber', is often included as an essential ingredient in various herbal remedies recommended for cancer therapies in Malaysia. Various extracts prepared from either the roots, tubers, stems or leaves were tested for cytotoxic activity on murine P388 leukaemia cells using the MTT assay method. Both the chloroform (IC50 = 6.0 microg/mL) and hexane (IC50 = 15.0 microg/mL) extract from the 'roots and tubers' exhibited weak cytotoxic activity. The hexane extract (IC50 = 65.0 microg/mL) from the 'stems and leaves' exhibited weaker cytotoxic activity than the chloroform extract (IC50 = 8.0 microg/mL). Although the juice extract from the 'roots and tubers' is frequently consumed for cancer treatment, it exhibited poor cytotoxic activity. Further analysis using an amino acid analyser revealed that the juice extract contained a high concentration of arginine (0.874%). A high tryptophan content (0.800%) was confirmed by NMR and HPLC analysis.
Five Malaysian isolates of the protozoan Plasmodium falciparum Welch were cultured in vitro following the method of Trager and Jensen (1976, 1977) and subsequently cloned using the limiting dilution method of Rosario (1981). Thirty clones were obtained and were later characterized against schizontocidal drugs, chloroquine, mefloquine and quinine, using the modified in vitro microtechnique. Results showed that these local isolates were heterogeneous and most of the clones exhibited similar pattern of susceptibility as their parent isolate except for ST 168 clone and two ST 195 clones that were sensitive but two ST 165 clones, two ST 168 clones and five ST 195 clones were resistant against quinine, respectively. Results also indicated that they were pure clones compared to their parent isolate because their drug susceptibility studies were significantly different (p < 0.05).
The kapurimycin A3-guanine adduct was formed by alkylation of the antitumour antibiotic with d(CGCG)2. The site of alkylation of the guanine was confirmed by comparative NMR studies with N-7-methyl-guanine in DMSO-d6.
Six clones were obtained from each Plasmodium falciparum (Welch, 1897) isolate from different geographical areas, Gombak A (Malaysian), Gombak C (Malaysian), ST 9 (Malaysian, ST 12 (Malaysian), ST 85 (Malaysian, ST 148 (Malaysian), Gambian (African) and TGR (Thailand) isolates using the limiting dilution method (Rosario 1981). Forty-eight clones were obtained and were characterized by an electrophoresis isoenzyme analysis of PEPE (Peptidase E) (EC. 3.4.11 or 13). Results showed that they were pure clones as they were monovariant with regards to this enzyme unlike their parent isolates which were divariant.
Six clones were derived from each of five isolates of Malaysian Plasmodium falciparum and characterized with regard to susceptibility to schizontocidal drugs, chloroquine, mefloquine, and quinine. The 5 isolates were found to be resistant to chloroquine and sensitive to mefloquine and quinine. Most of the clones displayed susceptibility patterns similar to those of their parent isolate, except ST9/D8 clone which became sensitive to chloroquine, C/C10 and ST148/A5 clones which became resistant to mefloquine and to quinine respectively. This diversity in susceptibility to schizontocidal drugs would likely have been overlooked by assessment of natural uncloned isolates against antimalarial drugs.