Abstract in English:Pot honey is the most abundant honey in the forest, produced by many species of stingless bees (Meliponini) of the Huottuja (Piaroa) community in Paria Grande, Venezuela. However, the commercialization of this honey is low, and false honeys, which are sold in labelled bottles, are easily found in the market. This study has investigated the ability of an untrained panel of Piaroa assessors to differentiate the genuine from the false pot honey using the Free-choice profile. This sensory method allows consumers to use their own words to describe and to quantify sensory attributes of a product. The genuine honeys, light amber Melipona fuscopilosa "isabitto" and dark amber Tetragona clavipes "ajavitte", the false light and dark "angelita" honeys, and the amber Apis mellifera honey, were evaluated. Sensory attributes related to the appearance, color, odor, flavor and mouthfeel were elicited in a qualitative session and were quantified in 10-cm unstructured line scales using individual score sheets. The data were analyzed by Generalized Procrustes Analysis (GPA). The bidimensional plot successfully separated genuine from false pot honeys. The first dimension (39.50%) was represented by the low viscosity, fermented odor and sour taste, whereas the second dimension (24.69%) was related to fruity and honey odor and flavor. Huottuja assessors differentiated the five honey types in terms of the perceived sensory characteristics.
Abstract in English:The municipality of Oriximiná, Brazil, has 33 quilombola communities in remote areas, endowed with wide experience in the use of medicinal plants. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out in five of these communities. A free-listing method directed for the survey of species locally indicated against Tuberculosis and lung problems was also applied. Data were analyzed by quantitative techniques: saliency index and major use agreement. Thirty four informants related 254 ethnospecies. Among these, 43 were surveyed for possible antimycobacterial activity. As a result of those informations, ten species obtained from the ethnodirected approach (ETHNO) and eighteen species obtained from the random approach (RANDOM) were assayed against Mycobacterium tuberculosis by the microdilution method, using resazurin as an indicator of cell viability. The best results for antimycobacterial activity were obtained of some plants selected by the ethnopharmacological approach (50% ETHNO x 16,7% RANDOM). These results can be even more significant if we consider that the therapeutic success obtained among the quilombola practice is complex, being the use of some plants acting as fortifying agents, depurative, vomitory, purgative and bitter remedy, especially to infectious diseases, of great importance to the communities in the curing or recovering of health as a whole.
Abstract in English:Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common in childhood. In 30-50% of children with UTI the infections occur recurrently, especially in those with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), neurogenic bladder (NB), previous cystitis or pyelonephritis and malformative uropathies. To reduce the likelihood of UTI, antibiotic prophylaxis has been regarded as the therapeutic standard for many years. However, the disadvantage of long-term antibiotic therapy is the potential for development of collateral effects and resistant organisms in the host. Such reasons have induced scientists to search for alternative modalities of UTI prevention and have contributed to determining the increasing desire for "naturalness" of the population and preventing excessive medication. The use of cranberry fulfils these needs by potentially replacing or enhancing traditional procedures. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of cranberry in preventing UTI in pediatric populations. We searched Pubmed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Internet. Cranberry in patients with previous UTI was evaluated in three studies, cranberry in patients with VUR in three studies and four studies analyzed the efficacy of cranberry in children with NB. In seven of nine studies cranberry had a significant effect in preventing UTI.
Abstract in English:This study aimed to examine the use of natural products as medicines in the greater Dublin area, Ireland. A field study was carried out on eighteen natural health stores; store assistants were interviewed and asked questions from a previously prepared questionnaire. Results were evaluated and a picture could be drawn about the use of natural products in Dublin. Questions asked included best sellers, new products on the market, common prescribers, ailments for which product is requested. Results indicated that as much as 60% of customers requests specific products were advice from staff. Nutritionists accounted for approximately one third of the medical profession that prescribed products for sale in health stores. The survey also examined common medicinal products requested which were not available without prescription. St. John's Wort and Gingko biloba were the most requested. Undoubtly, there is a revival to searching for natural alternatives for the treatment of diseases with no medical advice.
Abstract in English:Availability of rapid and reliable methods for detection of quality in plant raw materials and botanicals is urgently needed. The recent HPTLC instrumentation allows to obtain fingerprints useful to ascertain identity and composition. The results of direct application of HPTLC devices in selected cases, using the fingerprint approach, are here reported, considered and compared with other methods. HPTLC is proposed as an useful tool for analytical validation of the novel forms of natural products.
Abstract in English:Lupinus aschenbornii S. Schauer, Fabaceae, grows in the Central Highlands of Mexico, at altitudes between 2800 to 4300 m above sea level. The alkaloid patterns in organs of L. aschenbornii were analyzed by Gas-Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GLC-MS). Quinolizidine alkaloids (QA) were identified according to their mass fragmentation patterns, in combination with their Kovats retention indeces. Total QA content in organs differed substantially: seed contained 3.3 mg/g dry weight, flowers 2.8 mg/g DW, leaves 1.9 mg/g DW, stems 1.5 mg/g DW, and pods 1.4 mg/g DW. Roots do not accumulate QA and their profiles differed considerably: while seed stored N-formylangustifoline (17%), 17-oxolupanine (16%), multiflorine (11%) and an unidentified alkaloid (n.i.) 2869 (11%) as main QA, sparteine was absent. In flowers, sparteine reached 73%, in leaves up to 80%, in stems up to 32% and in pods up to 96%. Other QA present were lupanine (32% in stem, 9% in flower and 7% in seed); N-formylangustifoline (9% in stem and 4% in flower); multiflorine (6% in stem and 3% in flower). Differences in QA profile might be a strategy of lupins to avoid adaptation of possible predators because the different QA have different pharmacological properties.
Abstract in English:Phytochemicals are highly concentrated in berries, especially polyphenols as anthocyanins and ellagitannins. These compounds have been associated with antioxidant capacity, lipid peroxidation protection, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-carcinogenic activity, obesity prevention and others. Blackberries are commonly grown and consumed as juice in Latin-American countries. However, blackberry juice is easily fermented and different industrial techniques are being applied to enable the juice to be stored for longer periods. One important issue required for these techniques is to preserve the health-promoting capacities of blackberries. This study compared the antioxidant activity and the lipid peroxidation protector effect between a fresh blackberry juice (FJ) and a microfiltrated blackberry juice (MJ). Chemical analysis of both juices show less polyphenols concentration in the MJ. Despite this difference, values for biological activities, such as protection of lipid peroxidation, was not significantly different between FJ and MJ. These results suggest that the compounds responsible for the antioxidant activity are maintained even after microfiltration and the free radical scavenging capacity of these compounds could protect the initiation of lipid peroxidation. Microfiltration could be used as an industrial technique to produce blackberry juice that maintains biological activities of polyphenols.
Abstract in English:Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is the world's number one killer among infectious diseases. The search for new naturalproducts that can act as drugs against TB has received increased attention duringthe last years. In this work we describe the isolation and identification of the active antimycobacterial principles of the dichloromethane extract from Lippia lacunosa Mart. & Schauer, Verbenaceae. Compounds were evaluated for their in vitro activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (susceptible and rifampicin resistantstrain) using a redox bioassay. From the dichloromethane extract of L. lacunosa leaves, seven methoxy-flavones named cirsimaritin (1), eupatilin (2), eupatorin (3), salvigenin (4), 3'-O-methyl-eupatorin (5), 3',7-dimethoxy-5,6,4'- trihydroxyflavone (6), and 7'-O-methylapigenin (7), and one triterpene, named oleanolic acid (8), were isolated. All compounds were found to display antimycobacterial activity against susceptible strain, with MIC ranging from 25 to 200 µg/mL. None of them was active against rifampicin resistant strain. This is the first report in the antimycobacterial activity of 6-substituted flavones, as well as the first report of the occurrence of these substances in L. lacunosa.
Abstract in English:Citrus as many other plants present characteristic distribution of some enantiomers, thus it is often possible to use this parameter for identification, characterization, genuineness, and pharmacological activity assessment. In particular, it is possible to reveal adulteration of different nature, such as addition of synthetic compounds, or natural components of different botanical origin, with drastic changes in the biological and olfactory properties. This study is focused on the evaluation of the enantiomeric excesses of numerous samples of different Citrus species: C. deliciosa Ten., C. limon (L.) Burm., C. bergamia, C. aurantifolia (Christm.) Swing., C. latifolia Tan., C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck, and C. aurantium L. The enantiomeric distribution is determined by direct esGC and, depending on the complexity of the essential oil, by MDGC with a chiral column in the second dimension. The research is focused on the determination of fourteen chiral components which present specific distribution in the essential oils investigated. Particular attention is given to the trend of the enantiomeric distribution during the productive season, so to identify useful parameters for quality assessment also in consideration of the wide range of variability often reported in literature. The components investigated were the following: α-thujene, α-pinene, camphene, β-pinene, sabinene, α-phellandrene, β-phellandrene, limonene, linalool, camphor, citronellal, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, α-terpineol. The use of MDGC allowed the separation of the enantiomers of camphor and citronellal, otherwise not separated by conventional esGC; however for the separation of the enantiomers of α-pinene it was preferable to use conventional esGC. The MDGC system allowed to determine the enantiomeric distribution of camphene, α- and β-phellandrene in lime essential oil for the first time. The results are discussed in function of seasonal variation and, when possible, in function of the extraction technology, with particular regards to lime oils.
Abstract in English:The essential oil of the species Clinopodium nubigenum (Kunth) Kuntze, Lamiaceae, was analyzed by GC-MS and GC-FID, taking into account the more recent literature. Among the seventy compounds identified, the majority are oxygenated monoterpenoids. The essential oil, tested for antimicrobial activity, resulted effective in vitro against Candida albicans. From the aqueous MeOH extract of the aerial parts of the plant two nonvolatile compounds, named schizonepetoside A and schizonepedoside C, have been isolated. They are rare glycosyl terpenoids, which were previously isolated from only one plant, but never found before in the genus Clinopodium.
Abstract in English:In order to define the phytotoxic potential of Salvia species a database was developed for fast and efficient data collection in screening studies of the inhibitory activity of Salvia exudates on the germination of Papaver rhoeas L. and Avena sativa L.. The structure of the database is associated with the use of algorithms for calculating the usual germination indices reported in the literature, plus the newly defined indices (Weighted Average Damage, Differential Weighted Average Damage, Germination Weighted Average Velocity) and other variables usually recorded in experiments of phytotoxicity (LC50, LC90). Furthermore, other algorithms were designed to calculate the one-way ANOVA followed by Duncan's multiple range test to highlight automatically significant differences between the species. The database model was designed in order to be suitable also for the development of further analysis based on the artificial neural network approach, using Self-Organising Maps (SOM).
Abstract in English:The essential oil obtained by hydrodistillation from fresh leaves of Casearia lasiophylla Eichler, Salicaceae, was analyzed by gas capillary (GC/FID and GC/MS). The cytotoxicity of the leaves essential oil was tested in vitro againstU251 (glioma), UACC-62 (melanoma), MCF-7 (breast), NC1-ADR/RES (ovarian-resistant), NCI-H460 (lung), PC03 (prostate), OVCAR-3 (ovarian), HT-29 (colon) and K562 (leukemia) human cancer cells and against VERO (no cancer cell). The yield of oil was 0.02%. Fifty two compounds were identified, representing 87.1% of the total of the oil. The main components were identified as germacrene D (18.6%), β-caryophyllene (14.7%), δ-cadinene (6.2%), and α-cadinol (5.4%). The oil exhibited antiproliferative activity against all cell lines (TGI<100 µg/mL), with exception of NCI-H460 cell line (TGI 191.31 µg/mL). The highest activity was observed against UACC-62 (TGI 7.30 µg/mL), and K562 (TGI 7.56 µg/mL) cell lines. The observed activity could be related to high content of germacrene D and β-caryophyllene, compounds known as cytotoxic.
Abstract in English:Verbena officinalis L., Verbenaceae, commonly known as vervain, is a plant widely used in medicine. Despite of its widespread use in different traditional practices, the mechanisms of pharmacological actions of the plant and its volatile oil are still unclear. We evaluated the pro-apoptotic activity of V. officinalis essential oil and of its main component, citral, on lymphocytes collected from ten patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), a disease in which a faulty apoptotic mechanism is still retained one of the primary pathogenic events, by adding to treated mononuclear cells, annexin-V, propidium iodide, and CD19. Apoptosis was also evaluated using anti-active-caspase-3 monoclonal antibody after permeabilization of the cells. Both V. officinalis essential oil and citral were found able to induce apoptosis in CLL cells and to activate caspase-3, which is considered the way by means they active apoptosis in B neoplastic cells. This data further support evidences that indicate natural compounds as possible lead structure to develop new therapeutic agents for CLL.
Abstract in English:Vitex cymosa Bertero ex Spreng., Lamiaceae, is found in Central and Amazon regions of Brazil, where it is popularly used as antirheumatic. Extracts from the leaves of V. cymosa were tested in analgesia models such as abdominal contortions induced by acetic acid and formalin to test peripheral analgesia; as well as the tail flick and hot plate models, to test spinal and supraspinal analgesia. A significant reduction was observed in the number of contortions with all extracts and in all doses. In the formalin model, a reduction in the second phase (inflammatory) was observed with all extracts, whereas only the n-butanol extract was able to act in the first, neurogenic, phase. In the tail flick model, all extracts increased latency time. Naloxone treatment reverted analgesic effect of all extracts with the exception of the dichloromethane one. All extracts developed peripheral and central analgesic activity. In the hot plate model no antinociceptive effect was observed for all tested extracts. All these results taken together suggest that V. cymosa leaf extracts were able to promote peripheral and central antinociceptive activity mediated by the opioid system.Twenty three substances were isolated and identified in the extracts and include flavonoids (C-glucosyl flavones, flavones and flavonols), triterpene acids from ursane and oleanane types, iridoids (free and glucosides), as well as simple phenols.
Abstract in English:Wendtia calycina (Griseb.) Griseb., Vivianiaceae, is a Paraguayan herbaceous plant commonly known as burrito. Our previous study indicated that burrito leaves are a very good source of phenylpropanoid glycosides, principally verbascoside. From W. calycina leaves, a standardized, water-soluble extract rich in phenylpropanoid glycosides (WSE) has been developed on an industrial scale to be used as a food supplement, cosmetic, phytomedicine, and ingredient of different formulations. In this study, we investigated the effect of the WSE on human platelet aggregation in vitro induced by adenosine diphosphate (ADP), epinephrine (EPN), collagen (COL) or arachidonic acid (AA). WSE, concentration-dependently, inhibited ADP and EP-induced human platelet aggregation (IC50 were 0.82±0.15 mg/mL and 0.41±0.02 mg/mL, respectively). It did not inhibit collagen-induced platelet aggregation, thus suggesting a selectivity for the ADP-induced platelet activation pathways.
Abstract in English:The antispasmodic effects of acqueous extracts (AE) and tinctures (T) of Aloysia polystachya (Griseb.) Moldenke and Aloysia gratissima (Gillies & Hook.) Tronc., Verbenaceae, were studied on rat isolated ileum and duodenum. These plants are used for gastrointestinal disorders and as eupeptic in South America. Both AE non-competitively inhibited the dose-response curves (DRC) of ACh and the DRC of Ca2+ in high-[K+]o, as well as the T. The T of A. polystachya and A. gratissima respectively inhibited the ACh-DRC at the IC50 of 3.15±0.57 and 6.46±2.28 mg leaves/mL. The Ca2+- antagonist activity of both T occurred with IC50 respectively similar to those of the ACh-DRC, and was potentiated by the depolarization produced by 10 mM TEA, a blocker of K+- channels. The spasmolytic effect of T does not involve DA release and binding to D2, since it was not reduced by 10 µ M metoclopramide. Also, T induced dose-dependent relaxation on the tonic contracture produced by high -[K+]o and ACh. By TLC there were detected in the leaves the presence of carvone, and flavonoids such as quercetin and hesperidin. By HPLC there were not found vitexin nor isovitexin, identified in A. citriodora. The monoterpene (-)- carvone non-competitively inhibited the ACh-DRC (pD'2 of 4.0±0.1) and the DRC of Ca2+ (pD'2 of 3.86±0.19), suggesting that the Ca2+- influx blockade is the mechanism of its antispasmodic effect. Results suggest that the antispasmodic effect of A. polystachya and A. gratissima are mostly explained by the non-competitive blockade of Ca+2 influx. It could be associated to the presence of flavonoids, and in the tinctures to some spasmolytic components of the essential oil such as carvone.
Abstract in English:Multidrug resistance of cancer cells and pathogenic microorganisms leading to the treatment failure of some forms of cancer or life-threatening bacterial or fungal infections is often caused by the overexpression of multidrug efflux pumps belonging to the ATP-binding cassette transporters superfamily. The multidrug resistance of fungal cells often involves the overexpression of efflux pumps belonging to the pleiotropic drug resistance (PDR) family of ABC transporters. Possibly the best-studied fungal PDR transporter is the multidrug resistance transporter Pdr5p of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Some research groups have been searching for new inhibitors of these efflux pumps in order to alleviate resistance. Natural products are a great source for the discovery of new compounds with biological activity. Propolis is a complex resinous material collected by honeybees from exudates and buds of certain plant sources and this material is thought to serve as a defense substance for bee hives. Propolis is widely used in traditional medicine and is reported to have a broad spectrum of pharmacological properties. Literature reported some biological functionalities of propolis, such as antibacterial, antiviral, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. The chemical composition of propolis is qualitatively and quantitatively variable. Components isolated from methanolic extract of red Brazilian propolis (Alagoas, Northeast of Brazil) are isoflavonoids (including pterocarpans, isoflavans, isoflavones), flavanones and polyprenylated benzophenones. In this work we demonstrated the effects of five different isolated compounds on the ATPase activity of Pdr5p. Out of all five substances tested, only BRP-1 was able to completely abolish the enzymatic activity while others worked as positive modulators of the enzyme activity. BRP-1also inhibited the efflux of Rhodamine 6G from yeast cells overexpressing Pdr5p. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Brazilian propolis could be a source of promising compounds that can alleviate the MDR phenomenon, particularly in some fungi, where it could be used as an adjuvant for the treatment with azoles.
Abstract in English:Leishmaniasis is one of the most neglected tropical diseases, representing a group of parasitic diseases worldwide spread, occurring in 88 tropical and subtropical countries. Approximately 350 million people live in areas of active transmission of leishmaniasis, with about 1-2 million estimated new cases occurring every year. More than 90% of the cutaneous cases appear in developing countries. Efforts to improve the therapeutic arsenal against leishmaniasis have led to the search for new and cheap range of drugs. In this study, the nerolidol-rich essential oil from Piper claussenianum (Miq.) C. DC., Piperaceae, was assayed on arginase activity of Leishmania amazonensis. The effect of this essential oil on arginase activity levels showed an enzyme inhibition of 62.2%. This result stimulates the scientific interest about the potential value of this plant species on neglected diseases as potential new natural product source of pharmacological interest for the treatment of leishmaniasis.
Abstract in English:The antiviral activity of extracts obtained from Ageratina havanensis (Kunth) R.M.King & H.Rob., Asteraceae, against rabbit vesivirus (RaV) (Caliciviridae) and human herpes simplex viruses type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2) (Herpesviridae) were analyzed, and the main metabolites from the most active extract were isolated and characterized. The antiviral properties were investigated by measuring the inhibition of viral-induced cytopathic effect in Vero cells. The strongest inhibitory effects were found for ethyl acetate extract from leaves (SI=5 for RaV and SI=5.4 for HSV-1). The crude ethyl acetate extract was further fractionated by chromatographic methods and the structures of isolated compounds were established through comprehensive spectroscopic analyses, including IR, 2D NMR and MS. Four flavonoids were identified: 5,4'-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone (sakuranetin), 3,5,4'-trihydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone (7-methoxyaromadendrin), 4'-O-β-D-glucosyl-5,3'-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone (4'-O-β-D-glucosyl-7-methoxy-eriodictyol) and 4'-O-β-D-glucosyl-5-hydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone (4'-O-β-D-glucosylsakuranetin). This is the first report on antiviral activity for Ageratina havanensis.
Abstract in English:Currently, a wide range of research involving natural products is focused on the discovery of new drugs in many different therapeutic areas. A great number of the synthetic compounds on the market were derived from natural products, especially plants. Nemorosone is the major constituent of the floral resin of Clusia rosea Jacq., Clusiaceae, and in Cuban propolis. In vitro studies have shown cytotoxic activity in this substance against various tumor cell lines, including those resistant to various cytotoxic drugs, whereas it has low cytotoxicity to non-tumoral cells. Therefore, in order to characterize the biological activity of nemorosone, a substance with potential antitumor activity, and in view of preclinical testing of the toxicity of drug candidate compounds, the main aim of this study was to determine the mutagenic and antimutagenic activity of nemorosone by the Ames test, using the strains TA97a, TA98, TA100 and TA102 of Salmonella typhimurium. Secondly, to characterize the estrogenic activity in an experimental recombinant yeast model (Recombinant Yeast Assay) mutagenic activity was observed at in any of the concentrations in any of the test strains. To evaluate the antimutagenic potential, direct and indirect mutagenic agents were used: 4 nitro-o-phenylenediamine (NPD), mitomycin C (MMC) and aflatoxin B1 (AFL). Nemorosone showed moderate antimutagenic activity (inhibition level 31%), in strain TA100 in the presence of AFL, and strong antimutagenic activity in TA102 against MMC (inhibition level 53%). Estrogenic activity was observed, with an EEq of 0.41±0.16 nM at various tested concentrations.
Abstract in English:Ageratina glabrata (Kunth) R.M. King & H. Rob., Asteraceae (syn. Eupatorium glabratum Kunth) is widely distributed throughout Mexico and popularly known as "chamizo blanco" and "hierba del golpe" for its traditional use as external analgesic remedy. Though glabrata species has been chemically studied, there are no experimentally asserted reports about possible analgesic effects which can be inferred from its genus Ageratina. To fill the gap, we evaluated A. glabrata extracts in an animal model of nociception exploiting thermal stimuli. NMR and mass analyses identified a new thymol derivative, 10-benzoiloxy-6,8,9-trihydroxy-thymol isobutyrate (1), which was computationally converted into a ring-closed structure to explain interaction with the COX-2 enzyme in a ligand-receptor docking study. The resulting docked pose is in line with reported crystal complexes of COX-2 with chromene ligands. Based on the present results of dichloromethane extracts from its dried leaves, it is safe to utter that the plant possesses analgesic effects in animal tests which are mediated through inhibition of COX-2 enzyme.