Varied pharmacological responses have been reported for mitragynine in the literature, but no supportive scientific explanations have been given for this. These studies have been undertaken without a sufficient understanding of the physicochemical properties of mitragynine. In this work a UV spectrophotometer approach and HPLC-UV method were employed to ascertain the physicochemical properties of mitragynine. The pKa of mitragynine measured by conventional UV (8.11 ± 0.11) was in agreement with the microplate reader determination (8.08 ± 0.04). Mitragynine is a lipophilic alkaloid, as indicated by a logP value of 1.73. Mitragynine had poor solubility in water and basic media, and conversely in acidic environments, but it is acid labile. In an in vitro dissolution the total drug release was higher for the simulated gastric fluid but was prolonged and incomplete for the simulated intestinal fluid. The hydrophobicity, poor water solubility, high variability of drug release in simulated biological fluids and acid degradable characteristics of mitragynine probably explain the large variability of its pharmacological responses reported in the literature. The determined physicochemical properties of mitragynine will provide a basis for developing a suitable formulation to further improve its solubility, stability and oral absorption for better assessment of this compound in preclinical studies.
An Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method was applied to introduce the luciferase reporter gene under the control of the CaMV35S promoter in the pGreen0049 binary vector into strawberry cv. Camarosa. The in vitro regeneration system of strawberry leaves to be used in the transformation was optimized using different TDZ concentrations in MS medium. TDZ at 16 µM showed the highest percentage (100%) of shoot formation and the highest mean number of shoots (24) produced per explant. Studies on the effects of different antibiotics, namely timentin, cefotaxime, carbenicillin and ampicillin, on shoot regeneration of strawberry leaf explants showed the best shoot regeneration in the presence of 300 mg/L timentin and 150 mg/L cefotaxime. Assessment of the different factors affecting Agrobacterium mediated-transformation of strawberry with the luciferase gene showed the highest efficiency of putative transformant production (86%) in the treatment with no preculture, bacterial OD600 of 0.6 and the addition of 150 mg/L cefotaxime in the pre-selection and selection media. The presence of the luciferase gene in the plant genome was verified by the luciferase reporter gene assay, nested PCR amplification and dot blot of genomic DNA isolated from the young leaves of each putatively transformed plantlet.
Aluminum toxicity is widely considered as the most important limiting factor for plants growing in acid sulfate soils. A study was conducted in laboratory and in field to ameliorate Al toxicity using plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB), ground magnesium limestone (GML) and ground basalt. Five-day-old rice seedlings were inoculated by Bacillus sp., Stenotrophomonas maltophila, Burkholderia thailandensis and Burkholderia seminalis and grown for 21 days in Hoagland solution (pH 4.0) at various Al concentrations (0, 50 and 100 μM). Toxicity symptoms in root and leaf were studied using scanning electron microscope. In the field, biofertilizer (PGPB), GML and basalt were applied (4 t·ha-1 each). Results showed that Al severely affected the growth of rice. At high concentrations, the root surface was ruptured, leading to cell collapse; however, no damages were observed in the PGPB inoculated seedlings. After 21 days of inoculation, solution pH increased to >6.0, while the control treatment remained same. Field study showed that the highest rice growth and yield were obtained in the bio-fertilizer and GML treatments. This study showed that Al toxicity was reduced by PGPB via production of organic acids that were able to chelate the Al and the production of polysaccharides that increased solution pH. The release of phytohormones further enhanced rice growth that resulted in yield increase.
Formation of biofilms is a major factor for nosocomial infections associated with methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This study was carried out to determine the ability of a fraction, F-10, derived from the plant Duabanga grandiflora to inhibit MRSA biofilm formation. Inhibition of biofilm production and microtiter attachment assays were employed to study the anti-biofilm activity of F-10, while latex agglutination test was performed to study the influence of F-10 on penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) level in MRSA biofilm. PBP2a is a protein that confers resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics. The results showed that, F-10 at minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC, 0.75 mg/mL) inhibited biofilm production by 66.10%; inhibited cell-surface attachment by more than 95%; and a reduced PBP2a level in the MRSA biofilm was observed. Although ampicilin was more effective in inhibiting biofilm production (MIC of 0.05 mg/mL, 84.49%) compared to F-10, the antibiotic was less effective in preventing cell-surface attachment. A higher level of PBP2a was detected in ampicillin-treated MRSA showing the development of further resistance in these colonies. This study has shown that F-10 possesses anti-biofilm activity, which can be attributed to its ability to reduce cell-surface attachment and attenuate the level of PBP2a that we postulated to play a crucial role in mediating biofilm formation.
A series of novel dimethoxyindanone embedded spiropyrrolidines were synthesized in ionic liquid, [bmim]Br and were evaluated for their inhibitory activities towards cholinesterases. Among the spiropyrrolidines, compound 4f exhibited the most potent activity with an IC50 value of 1.57 µM against acethylcholinesterase (AChE). Molecular docking simulation for the most active compound was employed with the aim of disclosing its binding mechanism to the active site of AChE receptor.
The study was designed to evaluate the cardioprotective effects of the standardized aqueous and 80% ethanol extracts of Labisia pumila var. alata (LPva) in isoproterenol (ISO)-induced myocardial infarction (MI) in rats. The extracts were administered to Wistar rats orally for 28 days with three doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg of body weight) prior to ISO (85 mg/kg)-induced MI in two doses on day 29 and 30. The sera and hearts were collected for biochemical and histopathological analysis after the rats were sacrificed 48 h after the first induction. The main components of the extracts, gallic acid, alkylresorcinols and flavonoids were identified and quantitatively analyzed in the extracts by using a validated reversed phase HPLC method. The extracts showed significant protective effects as pretreated rats showed a significant dose-dependent decrease (p < 0.05) in cardiac enzyme activities, i.e., cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase MB isoenzyme (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST), when compared with ISO-control rats. There were significant rises (p < 0.05) in the activity of oxidase enzymes, i.e., glutathione peroxide (GPx), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) of the pretreated rats, when compared with ISO-control group. Histopathological examination showed an improvement in membrane cell integrity in pre-treated rats compared to untreated rats. The major components of LPva extracts can be used as their biomarkers and contributed to the cardioprotective effects against ISO-induced MI rats.
Pogostemon cablin Benth. (patchouli) is an important herb which possesses many therapeutic properties and is widely used in the fragrance industries. In traditional medicinal practices, it is used to treat colds, headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insect and snake bites. In aromatherapy, patchouli oil is used to relieve depression, stress, calm nerves, control appetite and to improve sexual interest. Till now more than 140 compounds, including terpenoids, phytosterols, flavonoids, organic acids, lignins, alkaloids, glycosides, alcohols, aldehydes have been isolated and identified from patchouli. The main phytochemical compounds are patchouli alcohol, α-patchoulene, β-patchoulene, α-bulnesene, seychellene, norpatchoulenol, pogostone, eugenol and pogostol. Modern studies have revealed several biological activities such as antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antithrombotic, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antimutagenic, antiemetic, fibrinolytic and cytotoxic activities. However, some of the traditional uses need to be verified and may require standardizing and authenticating the bioactivity of purified compounds through scientific methods. The aim of the present review is to provide comprehensive knowledge on the phytochemistry and pharmacological activities of essential oil and different plant extracts of patchouli based on the available scientific literature. This information will provide a potential guide in exploring the use of main active compounds of patchouli in various medical fields.
In vitro and in vivo studies of the activity of Phaleria macrocarpa Boerl (Thymelaeaceae) leaves against the therapeutic target for hypercholesterolemia were done using the HDL receptor (SR-BI) and hypercholesterolemia-induced Sprague Dawley rats. The in vitro study showed that the active fraction (CF6) obtained from the ethyl acetate extract (EMD) and its component 2',6',4-trihydroxy-4'-methoxybenzophenone increased the SR-BI expression by 95% and 60%, respectively. The in vivo study has proven the effect of EMD at 0.5 g/kgbw dosage in reducing the total cholesterol level by 224.9% and increasing the HDL cholesterol level by 157% compared to the cholesterol group. In the toxicity study, serum glutamate oxalate transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) activity were observed to be at normal levels. The liver histology also proved no toxicity and abnormalities in any of the treatment groups, so it can be categorized as non-toxic to the rat liver. The findings taken together show that P. macrocarpa leaves are safe and suitable as an alternative control and prevention treatment for hypercholesterolemia in Sprague Dawley rats.
Dominant strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from honey bees were evaluated for their γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-producing ability. Out of 24 strains, strain Taj-Apis362 showed the highest GABA-producing ability (1.76 mM) in MRS broth containing 50 mM initial glutamic acid cultured for 60 h. Effects of fermentation parameters, including initial glutamic acid level, culture temperature, initial pH and incubation time on GABA production were investigated via a single parameter optimization strategy. The optimal fermentation condition for GABA production was modeled using response surface methodology (RSM). The results showed that the culture temperature was the most significant factor for GABA production. The optimum conditions for maximum GABA production by Lactobacillus plantarum Taj-Apis362 were an initial glutamic acid concentration of 497.97 mM, culture temperature of 36 °C, initial pH of 5.31 and incubation time of 60 h, which produced 7.15 mM of GABA. The value is comparable with the predicted value of 7.21 mM.
The present study reports the synthesis of various new derivatives based on 5-aryl-2-bromo-3-hexylthiophene with moderate-to-good yields via a palladium-catalyzed Suzuki cross-coupling reaction. This coupling method involved the reaction of 2,5-dibromo-3-hexylthiophene with several arylboronic acids in order to synthesize corresponding thiophene derivatives under controlled and optimal reaction conditions. The different substituents (CH3, OCH3, Cl, F etc.) present on arylboronic acids are found to have significant electronic effects on the overall properties of new products. The synthesized thiophene molecules were studied for their haemolytic, biofilm inhibition and anti-thrombolytic activities, and almost all products showed potentially good properties. The compound 2-bromo-5-(3-chloro-4-fluorophenyl)-3-hexylthiophenein particular exhibited the highest values for haemolytic and bio-film inhibition activities among all newly synthesized derivatives. In addition, the compound 2-bromo-3-hexyl-5-(4-iodophenyl)thiophene also showed high anti-thrombolytic activity, suggesting the potential medicinal applications of these newly synthesized compounds.
The aims of this study were to examine the bioactive component(s) responsible for the anticoagulant activity of M. malabathricum Linn. leaf hot water crude extract via bioassay-guided fractionation and to evaluate the effect of bioactive component(s) on the intrinsic blood coagulation pathway. The active anticoagulant fraction of F3 was subjected to a series of chromatographic separation and spectroscopic analyses. Furthermore, the effect of the bioactive component(s) on the intrinsic blood coagulation pathway was studied through immediate and time incubation mixing studies. Through Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) assay-guided fractionation, Subfraction B was considered the most potent anticoagulant fraction. Characterisation of Subfraction B indicated that anticoagulant activity could partly be due to the presence of cinnamic acid and a cinnamic acid derivative. APTT assays for both the immediate and time incubation mixing were corrected back into normal clotting time range (35.4-56.3 s). In conclusion, cinnamic acid and cinnamic acid derivative from Subfraction B were the first such compounds to be discovered from M. malabathricum Linn. leaf hot water crude extract that possess anticoagulant activity. This active anticoagulant Subfraction B prolonged blood clotting time by causing factor(s) deficiency in the intrinsic blood coagulation pathway.
Curcumin has poor in vivo absorption and bioavailability, highlighting a need for new curcumin analogues with better characteristics in these aspects. The aim of this study is to determine the anti-cancer properties of four selected curcumin analogues, on the cytotoxicity, proliferative and apoptotic effects on androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC-3 and DU 145). Initial cytotoxicity screening showed MS17 has the highest cell inhibitory effect, with EC50 values of 4.4 ± 0.3 and 4.1 ± 0.8 µM, followed by MS13 (7.5 ± 0.1 and 7.4 ± 2.6 µM), MS49 (14.5 ± 1.2 and 12.3 ± 2.3 µM) and MS40E (28.0 ± 7.8 and 30.3 ± 1.9 µM) for PC-3 and DU 145 cells, respectively. Time-dependent analysis also revealed that MS13 and MS17 displayed a greater anti-proliferative effect than the other compounds. MS17 was chosen based on the high selectivity index value for further analysis on the morphological and biochemical hallmarks of apoptosis. Fluorescence microscopy analysis revealed apoptotic changes in both treated prostate cancer cells. Relative caspase-3 activity increased significantly at 48 h in PC-3 and 12 h in DU 145 cells. Highest enrichment of free nucleosomes was noted at 48 h after treatment with MS17. In conclusion, MS17 demonstrated anti-proliferative effect and induces apoptosis in a time and dose-dependent manner suggesting its potential for development as an anti-cancer agent for androgen-independent prostate cancer.
The crude methanol extracts and fractions of the root and stem barks of Dillenia serrata Thunb. showed 64% to 73% inhibition on the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in lipopolysaccharide-induced human whole blood using a radioimmunoassay technique. Three triterpenoids isolated from the root bark of the plant, koetjapic (1), 3-oxoolean-12-en-30-oic (2), and betulinic (3) acids, exhibited significant concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on PGE2 production with IC50 values of 1.05, 1.54, and 2.59 μM, respectively, as compared with the positive control, indomethacin (IC50 = 0.45 μM). Quantification of compounds 1 and 3 in the methanol extracts and fractions were carried out by using a validated reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method. The ethyl acetate fraction of the stem bark showed the highest content of both compound 1 (15.1%) and compound 3 (52.8%). The strong inhibition of the extracts and fractions on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymatic activity was due to the presence of their major constituents, especially koetjapic and betulinic acids.
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs), the most popular nanoparticles, possess unique properties. Achillea biebersteinii is a plant of the Asteraceae family rich in active antitumor components. The aim of this research was the characterization and investigation of the cytotoxic properties of Ag-NPs synthesized using A. biebersteinii flower extract, on a human breast cancer cell line. The Ag-NPs were synthesized after approximately 180 min of reaction at 40 °C, then they were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The anti-apoptosis effect of Ag-NPs on the MCF-7 cell line was investigated by MTT assay, DAPI and acridine orange staining and caspase activity. The transcriptional expression of bax, bcl-2, caspase-3, -8 and -9 were also evaluated by RT-PCR. The TEM images revealed that the Ag-NPs morphology had a different shape. The DLS indicated that the average hydrodynamic diameter of the biosynthesized Ag-NPs was around 12 nm. By UV-visible spectroscopy the strongest absorbance peak was observed at 460 nm. The FTIR results also showed interaction between the plant extract and Ag-NPs due to the similarity in the peak patterns. The EDS results showed that Ag-NPs display an absorption peak at 3 keV, indicating the presence of the element silver. The Ag-NPs caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability, fragmentation in nucleic acid, inhibited the proliferation and induction of apoptosis on MCF-7 by suppressing specific cell cycle genes, and simulation programmed cell dead genes. Further investigation is required to establish the potential of this novel and promising approach in cancer therapy.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation are widely accepted as key hallmarks of obesity-induced skeletal muscle insulin resistance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the functional roles of an anti-inflammatory compound, celastrol, in mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance induced by antimycin A (AMA) in human skeletal muscle cells. We found that celastrol treatment improved insulin-stimulated glucose uptake activity of AMA-treated cells, apparently via PI3K/Akt pathways, with significant enhancement of mitochondrial activities. Furthermore, celastrol prevented increased levels of cellular oxidative damage where the production of several pro-inflammatory cytokines in cultures cells was greatly reduced. Celastrol significantly increased protein phosphorylation of insulin signaling cascades with amplified expression of AMPK protein and attenuated NF-κB and PKC θ activation in human skeletal muscle treated with AMA. The improvement of insulin signaling pathways by celastrol was also accompanied by augmented GLUT4 protein expression. Taken together, these results suggest that celastrol may be advocated for use as a potential therapeutic molecule to protect against mitochondrial dysfunction-induced insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle cells.
This paper describes an efficient and regioselective method for the synthesis of novel fluorinated spiro-heterocycles in excellent yield by cascade [5+1] double Michael addition reactions. The compounds 7,11-bis(4-fluorophenyl)-2,4-dimethyl- 2,4-diazaspiro[5.5] undecane-1,3,5,9-tetraone (3a) and 2,4-dimethyl-7,11-bis (4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-2,4-diazaspiro[5.5]undecane-1,3,5,9-tetraone (3b) were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, FT-IR and NMR techniques. The optimized geometrical parameters, infrared vibrational frequencies and NMR chemical shifts of the studied compounds have also been calculated using the density functional theory (DFT) method, using Becke-3-Lee-Yang-Parr functional and the 6-311G(d,p) basis set. There is good agreement between the experimentally determined structural parameters, vibrational frequencies and NMR chemical shifts of the studied compounds and those predicted theoretically. The calculated natural atomic charges using NBO method showed higher polarity of 3a compared to 3b.The calculated electronic spectra are also discussed based on the TD-DFT calculations.
Some chalcones have been designed and synthesized using Claisen-Schmidt reactions as inhibitors of the ferredoxin and ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase interaction to pursue a new selective antimalaria agent. The synthesized compounds exhibited inhibition interactions between PfFd-PfFNR in the range of 10.94%-50%. The three strongest inhibition activities were shown by (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (50%), (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (38.16%), and (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(2,3-dimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (31.58%). From the docking experiments we established that the amino group of the methoxyamino chlacone derivatives plays an important role in the inhibition activity by electrostatic interaction through salt bridges and that it forms more stable and better affinity complexes with FNR than with Fd.
The aims of this study were to determine the antioxidant and antiproliferative activity of the following Theobroma cacao plant part methanolic extracts: leaf, bark, husk, fermented and unfermented shell, pith, root, and cherelle. Antioxidant activity was determined using 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and Folin-Ciocalteu assays; the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) assay was used to determine antiproliferative activity. The root extract had the highest antioxidant activity; its median effective dose (EC50) was 358.3±7.0 µg/mL and total phenolic content was 22.0±1.1 g GAE/100 g extract as compared to the other methanolic plant part extracts. Only the cherelle extract demonstrated 10.4%±1.1% inhibition activity in the lipid peroxidation assay. The MTT assay revealed that the leaf extract had the highest antiproliferative activity against MCF-7 cells [median inhibitory concentration (IC50)=41.4±3.3 µg/mL]. Given the overall high IC50 for the normal liver cell line WRL-68, this study indicates that T. cacao methanolic extracts have a cytotoxic effect in cancer cells, but not in normal cells. Planned future investigations will involve the purification, identification, determination of the mechanisms of action, and molecular assay of T. cacao plant extracts.
Plasticized poly(lactic acid) PLA with epoxidized vegetable oils (EVO) were prepared using a melt blending method to improve the ductility of PLA. The plasticization of the PLA with EVO lowers the Tg as well as cold-crystallization temperature. The tensile properties demonstrated that the addition of EVO to PLA led to an increase of elongation at break, but a decrease of tensile modulus. Plasticized PLA showed improvement in the elongation at break by 2058% and 4060% with the addition of 5 wt % epoxidized palm oil (EPO) and mixture of epoxidized palm oil and soybean oil (EPSO), respectively. An increase in the tensile strength was also observed in the plasticized PLA with 1 wt % EPO and EPSO. The use of EVO increases the mobility of the polymeric chains, thereby improving the flexibility and plastic deformation of PLA. The SEM micrograph of the plasticized PLA showed good compatible morphologies without voids resulting from good interfacial adhesion between PLA and EVO. Based on the results of this study, EVO may be used as an environmentally friendly plasticizer that can improve the overall properties of PLA.
The aim of this research was to identify the volatile metabolites produced in different organs (leaves, stem and roots) of Polygonum minus, an important essential oil producing crop in Malaysia. Two methods of extraction have been applied: Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) and hydrodistillation coupled with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Approximately, 77 metabolites have been identified and aliphatic compounds contribute significantly towards the aroma and flavour of this plant. Two main aliphatic compounds: decanal and dodecanal were found to be the major contributor. Terpenoid metabolites were identified abundantly in leaves but not in the stem and root of this plant. Further studies on antioxidant, total phenolic content, anticholinesterase and antimicrobial activities were determined in the essential oil and five different extracts. The plant showed the highest DPPH radical scavenging activity in polar (ethanol) extract for all the tissues tested. For anti-acetylcholinesterase activity, leaf in aqueous extract and methanol extract showed the best acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities. However, in microbial activity, the non-polar extracts (n-hexane) showed high antimicrobial activity against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) compared to polar extracts. This study could provide the first step in the phytochemical profiles of volatile compounds and explore the additional value of pharmacology properties of this essential oil producing crop Polygonum minus.