Previous studies analyzing 2,200 plant extracts indicated anti-enterococcal activity in 25 extracts obtained from Brazilian forests' plants. In the present study, these extracts were subjected to microdilution broth assay (MDBA) and disk diffusion assay (DDA) using planktonic Enterococcus faecalis ATCC® 29212TM and were submitted to phytochemical analysis in TLC and HPLC. Three extracts obtained from Ipomoea alba (MIC < 40 µg/mL), Diclinanona calycina (MIC < 40 µg/mL) and Moronobea coccinea (40 < MIC < 80 µg/mL; MBC = 80 µg/mL) showed significant bactericidal activity in the MDBA and four extracts obtained from I. alba (14.04 ± 0.55 mm diameter) S. globulifera (14.43 ± 0.33 mm and 12.18 ± 0.28 mm diameter) and Connarus ruber var. ruber (13.13 ± 0.18 mm diameter) were active in DDA. Residues H2O obtained from Psidium densicomum (mean of 16.78 mm diameter) and from Stryphnodendron pulcherrimum (mean of 15.97 mm diameter) have shown an improved antibacterial activity after fractionation if compared to that obtained from the respective crude extracts. Antioxidant activity was observed in some residues of the active extracts. TLC analysis showed that phenolic compounds are likely to be found in active extracts. Three molecules were isolated from S. globulifera and were identified by 13C NMR lupeol, α-amyrin and 3β-hydroxyglutin-5-ene. The present chemical and biological findings suggest that these extracts are a potential source of new anti-Enterococcus compounds to be introduced in endodontic therapy.
The organic extract EB689, obtained from the stem of Abarema auriculata (Benth.) Barneby & J.W.Grimes, Fabaceae, commonly known as "saboeiro-ferro", was chemically studied, as well as its influence over behavioral effects such as locomotion, emotionality and anxiety, after intra-peritonial administration were assessed. The open-field and elevated-plus maze were used in experiments divided into two stages. The first stage aimed for the identification of the main effects over behavior using a reduced number of animals against half-fold diluted doses of EB689. The same variables were also tested in a second stage of the experiment using the non-lethal intra-peritoneal dose of 4.8 mg/kg in a larger number of animals. It was observed that EB689 clearly decreased locomotion, which was probably caused by internal hemorrhage causing hypovolemic shock. Although it is the first time lupeol and eucryphin are described in A. auriculata, it is still not clear if they are involved in the toxicology of A. auriculata. The undesirable effects of EB689 are better understood, the basis for further pharmacological assays aiming antitumor activity are supported.
Dermatological disorders related to pigmentation result in tenuous hyper or hypopigmentation Cosmetic and pharmaceutical products containing depigmenting substances are used in the treatment of patients who have high pigmentation disorders, such as melasma or chloasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, senile lentigo and ephelides. Skin lightening agents are not yet totally effective or safe and therefore intensive research for the discovery of new agents is continuous. Enzyme inhibitors involved in melanogenesis, such as tyrosinase, have been discovered in Asian countries, including those isolated from plant extracts. The Brazilian flora has the highest species diversity in the world, and the chemical, pharmacological and cosmetic potential for the discovery of new skin whitening agents is in proportion with this biodiversity. For these reasons, 25 aqueous and 24 organic extracts obtained from 19 plants native to the Amazon rain forest and to the Atlantic forest, belonging to 11 different families, were evaluated as tyrosinase inhibitors. Nine out of 49 extracts showed inhibitory activity in the screening process. The 50% inhibitory activity (IA50) was calculated, revealing that the most active extracts were the organic extracts from the leaves and stem of Ruprechtia sp. (IA50 33.76 mg.mL-1) and the organic extract from the aerial organs of Rapanea parviflora (IA50 64.19 mg.mL-1).
Problemas dermatológicos relacionados com a pigmentação resultam em hiperpigmentações ou hipopigmentação cutâneas. Produtos cosméticos e farmacêuticos com atividade despigmentante são utilizados para o tratamento de pacientes que apresentam distúrbios de hiperpigmentação, tais como melasma ou cloasma, hiperpigmentação pós-inflamatória, lentigem senil e efélides. Os despigmentantes atualmente utilizados não são totalmente eficazes ou seguros, razão pela qual há intensa pesquisa, principalmente em países asiáticos, com a finalidade de se obter novos agentes com esta ação, em especial inibidores de enzimas envolvidas na melanogênese, como a tirosinase. Considerando-se que algumas substâncias obtidas de plantas apresentam essa atividade, a flora brasileira constitui-se uma fonte potencial de obtenção de novos despigmentantes. Por essa razão, 25 extratos aquosos e 24 orgânicos obtidos de 19 plantas da Floresta Amazônica e Mata Atlântica, provenientes de 11 diferentes famílias, foram avaliados quanto à atividade de inibição da tirosinase. Do total de 49 extratos testados, 9 mostraram atividade. Os valores de concentração da atividade inibitória 50% (AI 50%), foram calculados e o mais ativo foi o extrato orgânico das folhas e caule de Ruprechtia sp. (AI50 33,76 mg.mL-1) seguido do extrato orgânico dos órgãos aéreos de Rapanea parviflora (AI50 64,19 mg.mL-1).
Plants have played a significant role in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases for the last four decades. The discovery and introduction to market of paclitaxel, the vinca alkaloids, etoposide, and many antibacterial drugs support drug discovery programs based on natural products. Natural products have been rediscovered as important tools for drug development despite advances in combinatorial chemistry, due to the complex molecular structures able to interact with mammalian cell targets. The Brazilian flora, the most diverse in the world, has become an interesting spot to prospect for new chemical leads or hits due to its species diversity and associated chemical richness. Screening programs have been established in Brazil as a strategy to identify potentially active substances. High throughput screening techniques allow for the analysis of large numbers of extracts in a relatively short period of time, and can be considered one of the most efficient ways of finding new leads from natural products. An updated review of the current status of the biological screening program is presented and recent results from new antitumoral and antibacterial chemical leads are discussed.
Plantas são uma importante fonte de novos protótipos há pelo menos quatro décadas. A descoberta e introdução no mercado de paclitaxel, dos alcalóides da vinca, etoposídeo e muitos agentes antibacterianos têm servido de apoio ao desenvolvimento de programas de descobrimento de novos fármacos baseados em produtos naturais. Produtos naturais foram recentemente redescobertos como importante ferramenta na descoberta de novos fármacos devido às estruturas moleculares complexas capazes de interagir com alvos em células de mamíferos. A flora brasileira, a mais rica do mundo, tornou-se um importante sítio para prospecção de novos protótipos em decorrência da riqueza de espécies vegetais relacionada a uma possível diversidade química. Programas de triagem têm sido introduzidos no Brasil contrapondo a devastação de florestas relacionadas a atividades rurais, extrativismo madeireiro e mineral. Ensaios em larga escala permitem a análise de um grande número de amostras em um tempo relativamente pequeno, e pode ser considerado como o método mais eficaz para a descoberta de novos fármacos a partir de plantas. Dados atualizados relativos a programas de triagem que objetivam a identificação de novos protótipos antitumorais e antibacterianos são comentados.
Infections caused by multiresistant bacteria are a widespread problem, especially in intensive care units. New antibiotics are necessary, and we need to search for alternatives, including natural products. Brazil is one of the hottest spots in the world in terms of biodiversity, but little is known about the chemical and pharmacological properties of most of the plants found in the Amazon rain forest and the Atlantic Forest. We screened 1,220 organic and aqueous extracts, obtained from Amazon and Atlantic rain forest plants, against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli. Seventeen organic and aqueous extracts obtained from 16 plants showed activity against both Gram-positive bacteria. None of the extracts showed relevant activity against the Gram-negative E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Thirty-eight aqueous and organic extracts obtained from 11 Amazonian Apocynaceae species were submitted to an antimicrobial dilution in broth media screening for Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans, performed on microtiter plates. The organic extract obtained from the stem of Tabernaemontana angulata presented activity against Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus. The minimal inhibitory concentration of the organic crude extract was 2.50-1.25 mg/mL. Cloramphenicol was used as standard. Alkaloids and triterpenes were found in the active organic extract.
Trinta e oito extratos orgânicos e aquosos obtidos de 11 espécies de Apocynaceae foram submetidos a triagem utilizando o método da microdiluição em caldo contra Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa e Candida albicans. O extrato orgânico obtido do caule de Tabernaemontana angulata apresentou atividade contra a bactéria Gram positiva S. aureus. A concentração inibitória mínima verificada para esse extrato variou de 2,50 a 1,25 mg/mL. Cloranfenicol foi utilizado como antimicrobiano padrão. A análise fitoquímica indicou a presença de triterpenos e alcalóides no extrato ativo.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes infectious hepatitis worldwide. It is transmitted mainly by blood products and sharing of intravenous paraphernalia during illicit drug use. High prevalence rates have been described among specific groups considered to be at higher risk for HCV infection, including prison inmates. The objectives of this study were: to determine the HCV seroprevalence among inmates of Casa de Detenção de São Paulo; to identify risk factors for HCV infection; and to compare the seroprevalence of HCV to other blood borne or sexually transmitted diseases. From December, 1993, to January, 1994, a total of 779 inmates were interviewed to collect information on sociodemographic status, sexual behavior, and past experience with illicit drugs. Blood samples were obtained from 756 inmates for serological tests. 310 (41%) blood samples were positive for anti-HCV, 425 (56.2%) were negative, and 21 (2.8%) showed indeterminate results. In this population, we found a seroprevalence of 13.7% for HIV, 3.3% for syphilis (VDRL), and 68.1% for hepatitis B virus previous infection. Four variables were each identified as associated with a positive anti-HCV serologic test: a positive VDRL (OR = 2.63 IC 95% 1.08 to 6.36); a time of current imprisonment longer than 130 months (OR = 2.44 IC 95% 1.04 to 5.71); previous incarceration at Casa de Detenção de São Paulo (OR = 1.73 IC 95% 1.19 to 2.52) and; illicit drug use before admission to the Casa de Detenção de São Paulo (OR = 1.64 IC 95% 1.15 to 2.33). The seroprevalence of HCV antibodies among the study population was high (41%), indeed, one of the highest clusters of HCV infection recorded until now. Four variables were each shown to be associated with HCV infection. The simultaneous presence of these 4 variables is associated with an 82% probability of being anti-HCV positive. Although risk factor analysis indicates most HCV infections occur prior to inprisonment, initiation of control measures to prevent continued transmission after incarceration should be done.