Open Access Short Research Article

Efficacy of an Aqueous Extract of Stellaria media (L.) Cyr. against Eimeria legionensis Infection (Apicomplexa: Eimeridae) in Red-legged Partridges (Alectoris rufa)

G. Fichi, G. Flamini, P. Cioni, S. Perrucci

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/26584

Aims: Coccidiosis is one of the most frequent causes of morbidity and mortality in farmed red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the plant Stellaria media (Caryophyllaceae) on coccidia-infected red-legged partridges.

Methodology: Of 9 replicates of redlegged partridges, each composed by 6 coccidia-infected birds (Eimeria legionensis), 3 replicates (S group) received an aqueous extract (12 ml/l) of S. media with drinking water for 3 consecutive days, while 3 further replicates (D group) received 20% sodium sulfaquinoxaline (2 g/l) with drinking water for 3 consecutive days. The remaining 3 replicates did not receive any treatment (C group). The day before the beginning of the treatment (day 0), the last day of the treatment (day 3) and 7 days after the end of the treatment (day 10), individual fresh faecal samples were collected from all examined birds and analysed for presence and number of coccidian oocysts/gram of faeces (OPG). Data were statistically elaborated with the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the Test of Student-Newman-Keuls for multiple comparisons. The percentage of reduction of the mean OPG number was also assessed. In addition, all birds were clinically observed in order to evaluate the appearance of diarrhoea and of other signs of clinical coccidiosis.

Results: Seven days after the end of the treatment, birds of the C group showed diarrhoea and significant (P<0.05) higher OPG numbers respect to those of S and D groups, while no significant differences resulted between S and D groups. Moreover, percentages of OPG reduction of 98.61% and 99.60% and of 99.23% and 78.46% were found at day 3 and day 10 for group S and group D, respectively, while an increased mean OPG number was observed in the untreated group (C).

Conclusion: After oral administration to the examined red-legged partridges S. media was able        not only to prevent the clinical form of coccidiosis, but also to give a significant reduction of            E. legionensis OPG number in faecal samples of birds treated with this plant. This reduction resulted comparable to that observed in animals treated with the commercial drug.

Open Access Original Research Article

Antioxidant Activity: A Strategy for Alleviating the Effects of Drought on Calendula officinalis L.

Mahdi Ebrahimi, Gholam Reza Zamani, Zohreh Alizadeh

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/27035

Aims: Effects of drought stress on pot marigold and plant’s antioxidant responses in confronting with water deficit was studied.

Study Design: The experiment was conducted according complete randomized block design (CRBD) with three replications. Drought stress with four levels (80, 60, 40 and 20% of the soil available water content) and plant type (medicinal and ornamental) were considered. Means were compared using LSD test. Correlation analysis was done using Pearson Correlation Coefficient.

Place and Duration of Study: Research greenhouse of faculty of agriculture, University of Birjand, Iran; Between December 2014 and June 2015.

Methodology: Enzymatic antioxidants activity and non-enzymatic antioxidants content along with MDA (malondialdehyde) content were determined spectrophotometric and flower yield was consisted of the oven dried flowers collected during the reproductive stage.

Results: MDA content increased with increasing drought intensity from 17.97 in well-watered to 28.67 mmol.gr-1 fresh weight in severe stress level. SOD and CAT activity primarily increased to 8.58 u.mg-1 protein and 4.48 ΔA240.mg-1 protein in moderate stress level respectively and then decreased afterwards. APX activity decreased from 2.37 in well-watered level to 1.31 ΔA290.mg-1 protein in severe stress level. Proline content increased accompanied by increasing drought, so that in the highest level (36.17 mg.gr-1 fresh weight) was up to fourfold compared with non-stressed control. However carotenoid content concurrently decreased from 4.50 to 3.30 mg.gr-1 fresh weight. With increasing drought, flower yield decreased with a certain rate, so the highest (0.52 g.plant-1) and lowest (0.21 g.plant-1) flower yield belonged to non-stressed and intensive drought stress, respectively. In addition, flower yield of medicinal type was approximately 24% higher than ornamental one.

Conclusion: Enzymatic antioxidant system of pot marigold confers a suitable ability to reduce adverse effects of drought-induced oxidative stress. However when the intensity of drought stress is high, this scavenging system fails to cope with higher levels of oxidative compounds.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Selected Natural Compounds for Cancer Stem Cells Targeted Anti-cancer Activity: A Molecular Docking Study

Karthika Mayan, Sameera R. Samarakoon, Kamani H. Tennekoon, Asitha Siriwardana, José R. Valverde

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-21
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/27847

Aims: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) play significant roles in tumor initiation, relapse, angiogenesis, metastasis and therapy. Collectively Wnt, Notch, and Hedgehog are major pathways that have been linked to the drug resistance of CSCs. Eliminating CSCs has been suggested as a promising approach to cure cancer. Aim of the present study is screening of selected natural compounds for inhibitors of Wnt, and Hedgehog pathways that have been linked to the drug resistance of cancer stem cells (CSCs) by in silico molecular docking analysis.

Place and Duration of Study: At the Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Colombo between 1st of June 2014 to May 2015.

Methodology: In the present study, in silico molecular docking simulations were carried out for the binding of 35 selected natural compounds with receptor proteins which are involved in the main signaling pathways of CSCs, such as β-catenin chain A and Smo receptor from the Wnt and hedgehog pathways respectively, using Hex 8.0.0, DOCK6 and AutoDock Vina software. Docking interaction residue analysis, score functions and drug-likeness studies were carried out for the selected compounds.

Results: Overall, 11 compounds such as Gedunin, Kaempferol, Methylripariochromene A, Myrigalone G, Catechin, Myricetin, Discretine, Laurolitsine, Myricitrin, Nordicentrine and Phloretin were identified with good binding energy, interaction, binding affinity and better drug likeness for β-catenin chain A. There was no considerable overall binding ability for Smo inhibition.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that 11 compounds out of 35 natural compounds screened can be used for further development of CSC targeted anti-cancer drugs.  In vitro studies need to be carried out to confirm anti-CSC activity of the novel inhibitors discovered.

Open Access Original Research Article

Total Phenolic and Flavonoid Contents and Flavonoid Composition of Flowers and Leaves from the Mexican Medicinal Plant Gymnosperma glutinosum (Spreng.) Less

Rolando Morado-Castillo, Ramiro Quintanilla-Licea, Ricardo Gomez-Flores, Wolfgang Blaschek

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/28028

Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the total phenolics and flavonoids content of leaves and flowers of Gymnosperma glutinosum (Spreng.) Less., and identify their main chemical constituents.

Materials and Methods: G. glutinosum leaves and flowers were separately extracted with sequential 85, 80, 75, and 70% Methanol. Total phenolic content was determined using the Folin-Ciocalteu assay with gallic acid as standard. Total flavonoid content was evaluated using the aluminum chloride colorimetric method with quercetin as a standard. TLC and HPLC analysis of theextracts were performed, and compounds were identified by retention time and UV spectra in comparison with polyphenolic standards.

Results: Total phenolic content of leaf extracts was 116.7 mg/g GAE (Gallic Acid Equivalents) whereas that of flower extracts was 159.8 mg/g GAE. Total flavonoid content of leaf extracts was 6.7 mg/g QE (Quercetin Equivalents) and that of flower extracts 15.9 mg/g QE. According to TLC and HPLC analysis, chlorogenic acid, astragalin, quercitrin, quercetin, rutin, kaempferol, and vitexin were the main components.

Conclusions: The identified polyphenols, except vitexin, have not yet been reported for G. glutinosum. These compounds might be involved in health benefits attributed to G. glutinosum. The higher content of flavonoids and other polyphenols in the flower extract suggest that G. glutinosum could be more efficient as an herbal remedy when the specimens are flowering, a feature not yet indicated in the Mexican traditional medicine.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of the Anti-Streptococcus mutans Potential of Petroselinum crispum, an in vitro Study

Jannan Ghapanchi, Abdollah Bazargani, Alireza Zariean, Mostafa Rezaee, Zahra Ranjbar, Arash Karami, Aisa Zamani

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/27095

Background and Aim: The use of medicinal plants and traditional remedies has become increasingly widespread. Parsley is one of the traditional herbs used for treatment and prevention of various illnesses. This study aims to assess the in vitro antimicrobial effect of Petroselinum crispum (parsley) on Streptococcus mutans and compare it to antibacterial activity of different concentrations of chlorhexidine 0.2%.

Materials and Methods: The minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) and minimal inhibitory concentration effects of parsley on S. mutans isolates were investigated by Agar well diffusion and broth microdilution assays.

Results: S. mutans was treated with the extract in various concentrations according to the CLSI’s protocol. The median minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ethanolic extract exhibited a bactericidal effect on S. mutans strains in 2500 ppm comparing to aqueous extract that showed bactericidal activity in 10000 ppm, p=0.001. CHX demonstrated anti streptococcal activity in 260 ppm concentration revealing more intensive bactericidal effect than parsley, p=0.001. This research showed that Chlorhexidine significantly has higher anti S. mutans activity than parsley.

Conclusion: The results indicate that parsley (Petroselinum crispum) has a lower anti S. mutans activity in vitro. Its bacteriostatic activity on S. mutans strains is less than that of chlorhexidine mouth wash p=001. The use of parsley as a preventive measure for dental caries needs more investigations.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Eupatorium arnottianum on Gastrointestinal Tract

S. Gorzalczany, P. Caminos, V. Martino, M. Clavín

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/28009

Aims: Eupatorium arnottianum Griseb is used in popular medicine for gastric pains. So, the aim of this study was to investigate the possible spasmolytic effects of ethanolic and dichloromethanic extracts of the plant using preclinical methods.                                               

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Universidad de Buenos Aires, from September 2015 to May 2016.             Methodology: The effects of Eupatorium arnottianum extracts and its isolated compounds were evaluated on isolated rat jejunum. Intestinal transit of charcoal meal after the administration of extract was determined and compared with the control group. Also, phytochemical study was performed.

Results: The extracts inhibited non competitively the cumulative concentration–response curves induced by acetylcholine (1.10-9–1.10-5 M), with similar inhibition at the highest concentration (2 mg/mL: 66.2±8.7% of inhibition for ethanolic extract and 61.5±10.5% of inhibition for dichlorometanic extract). Also, both extracts non-competitively inhibited the curve response concentration induced by CaCl2 (1.10-4 -3. 10-1 M) and significantly reduced the maximal response in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, E. arnottianum (62, 125 and 250 mg/Kg, per oral) significantly decreased the propulsion of the charcoal meal through the gastrointestinal tract (68% of inhibition for 250 mg/Kg ethanolic extract, 42% of inhibition for 125 mg/Kg dichlorometanic extract). Finally, nepetin, the major compound of the ethanolic extract and two major compounds of dichlorometanic extract, jaceosidin and nepetin, reduced the maximal response of the acethylcholine in isolated jejunum (30 µg/mL: 75% of inhibition for jaceosidin and 89% of inhibition for nepetin).                            

Conclusion: The results of the present study could demonstrate that Eupatorium arnottianum plays a spasmolytic role in gastrointestinal motility by interfering in calcium influx. Also nepetin and jaceosidin, major components of ethanolic and dichlorometanic extracts could be responsible for these properties.