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Fatema Nasrin1*, Nabila Mahrin2, Nisrat Jahan1, Yesmin Begum1, Senjuti Majumder1
1Department of Pharmacy, Southeast University, Banani, Dhaka
2Pharmacology labortory, Department of Pharmacy, Southeast University, Banani, Dhaka

We aimed at assessing the effect of methanolic extract of Streblus asper in human red blood cell (HRBC) membrane stabilization and insecticidal (on the stored grain pest, Trogoderma  granarium Everts) as studies. The membrane stabilizing activity was assessed by using erythrocyte in hypotonic solution and heat induced was compared with acetyl salicylic acid. The extract at the doses of  200, 400 and 800 μg/ml significantly inhibited heat induced lysis of the human red blood cell membrane with values of 46.53%, 56.52% and 65.14%, respectively. The results of hypotonic solution induced lysis showed that S. asper has significant reduction (P≤0.01) in inflammation i.e. 40.8 % (400 µg/ml) and 50.8 % (800 µg/ml) as compared to the standard drug, acetyl salicylic acid, which was 62.96 % in insecticidal assay the extract showed dose dependent paralyzing effect and mortality of T.  granarium Everts. All the doses of crude extracts exhibited concentration and time dependent insecticidal activity.


PharmaTutor (Print-ISSN: 2394 - 6679; e-ISSN: 2347 - 7881)

Volume 3, Issue 6

Received On: 10/03/2015; Accepted On: 16/03/2015; Published On: 01/06/2015

How to cite this article: F Nasrin, N Mahrin, N Jahan, Y Begum, S Majumder; In vitro Membrane Stabilizing and Insecticidal Activities of Methanolic Extract of Streblus asper Lour; PharmaTutor; 2015; 3(6); 29-34

Inflammation is a complex protective attempt by the organism to remove any injurious stimuli and initiate the healing process [1]. At the onset of an inflammation, the cells undergo activation and release inflammatory mediators: histamine, serotonin, slow reacting substances of anaphylaxis (SRS-A), prostaglandins and some plasma enzyme systems such as the complement system, the clotting system, the fibrinolytic system and the kinin system [2]. These mediator molecules work collectively to cause increased vasodilatation and permeability of blood vessels. Thus, leading to increased blood flow, exudation of plasma proteins and fluids, and migration of leukocytes, mainly neutrophils, outside the blood vessels into the injured tissues [3].

Streblus asperLour is an herbal plant that belongs to the Moraceae family. It is a small tree found in tropical countries, such as India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, The Philippines and Thailand. Several studies reported that S. asper plant extract possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory activities [4] and anticancer activities. In addition, S. asper  extract has been traditionally used to treat wounds, skin diseases, filariasis, leprosy, toothache, fever, diarrhea, dysentery and is especially effective in the oral cavity [5-7] which has been applied in Ayurveda and folk medicines. The bark extract is used to relieve fever, dysentery, toothache and gingivitis; the branch is used as a toothbrush for strengthening teeth and gums; and the leaf exhibits insecticidal activity toward mosquito larvae, antibacterial action, inhibitory effect on oral and dental diseases and anti-oxidant activity [5,7-9]. Previously isolated constituents from S. asper include glycosides, pregnane glycoside named sioraside from roots and α-amyrin, acetate, lupeol, β-sitosterol from stem bark. Cardiac glycosides like stebloside and mansonin have also been isolated from this plant [10,11]. Stebloside has been reported for its anticancer activity on KB cell lines12. The aim of present study was to screen methanolic extracts of S. asper leaves for its insecticidal activity and anti-inflammatory activity by using an in-vitro procedure (membrane stabilising activity).

Materials and Methods

Collection and extraction of plant materials
The leaves and stem of S. asper were collected in September 2013 from Mirpur, Dhaka Bangladesh and authenticated at Bangladesh National Herbarium, where a voucher specimen no DACB 37515 has been deposited.

The air-dried leaves (1kg) were finely pulverized and extracted by percolation with methanol for seven days at room temperature. The extracts were filtered and concentrated under vacuum to obtain a crude extract of S. asper.

The active drugs Acetyl salicylic acid was a generous gift samples from Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Trogoderma  granarium
(Everts) (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) adult and its larvae were collected from the stored grains in local market.

Blood sample
Fresh whole blood (3 ml) was collected intravenously from healthy human volunteers into heparinised tubes to prevent coagulation.

Centrifuge machine to prepare supernatant of blood sample was used. The molecular absorption spectra and absorbance at specific wavelengths were recorded with a HACH DR 4000U UV-visible spectrophotometer equipped with quartz cells of 1-cm light path.

Assay of membrane stabilization activity
The effects of S. asper extract on haemolysis of  human red blood cell (HRBC) induced by heat and distilled water was evaluated using the method of Shinde et al.[13] with some modifications.

Heat induced haemolysis
Samples of the extract used were dissolved in isotonic phosphate buffer solution. A set of 5 centrifuge tubes containing respectively, 5 ml graded doses of the extracts (200, 400 and 800 μg/ml) were arranged in quadruplicate sets (4 sets per dose). Two sets of control tubes contained 5 ml of the vehicle and 5 ml of 200 μg/ml of acetyl salicylic acid, respectively. HRBC suspension (0.1 ml) was added to each of the tubes and mixed gently. A pair of the tubes was incubated at 54°C for 20 minutes in a regulated water bath. The other pair was maintained at −10°C in a freezer for 20 minutes. Afterwards, the tubes were centrifuged at 1300 g for 3 min and the haemoglobin content of the supernatant was estimated using UV-visible spectrophotometer at 540 nm. The percent inhibition of haemolysis by the extract was calculated thus:

% inhibition of haemolysis = 100 x {1- (OD2-OD1/ OD3-OD1)}

Where ,OD1 = absorbance of test sample unheated
OD2 = absorbance of test sample heated
OD3 = absorbance of control sample heated.

Hypotonicity induced haemolysis
Samples of the extract used in this test were dissolved in distilled water (hypotonic solution). The hypotonic solution (5 ml) containing graded doses of the extracts (200, 400 and 800 μg/ml) were put into duplicate pairs (per dose) of the centrifuge tubes. Isotonic solution (5 ml) containing graded doses of the extracts (200 – 800 μg/ml) were also put into duplicate pairs (per dose) of the centrifuge tubes. Control tubes contained 5 ml of the vehicle (distilled water) and 5 ml of 200 μg/ml of acetyl salicylic acid respectively. Erythrocyte suspension (0.1 ml) was added to each of the tubes and mixed gently. The mixtures were incubated for 1 h at room temperature (37°C), and afterwards, centrifuged for 3 min at 1300 g. Absorbance (OD) of the haemoglobin content of the supernatant was estimated at 540 nm using UV-visible spectrophotometer. The percentage heamolysis was calculated by assuming the heamolysis produced in the presence of distilled water as 100%. The percent inhibition of haemolysis by the extract was calculated thus:

% inhibition of haemolysis = 100 x {1- (OD2-OD1/ OD3-OD1)}

Where OD1 = absorbance of test sample in isotonic solution
OD2 = absorbance of test sample in hypotonic solution
OD3 = absorbance of control sample in hypotonic solution

Assay of Insecticidal activity
Trogoderma  granarium
(Everts) (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) is one of the serious storage insect pests, causing tremendous loss to stored grains in tropical regions[14,15].

Preparation of dose of  S. asper
The dilutions of the plant extracts were prepared in following concentrations: 5 mg/ml, 10 mg/ml, 40 mg/ml, 50 mg/ml, 100 mg/ml, 200 mg/ml and 250 mg/ml. One piece of filter paper was kept in each of the petri dish and 1 ml of the extract was poured over it; then dried over 24 hrs. Twenty adults each of  T.granarium were placed in each of the petri dish and their motility, behavior (that is, whether the insects are attracted or repelled by the drug) and mortality is monitored. Methanol was used as a control.

Insect mortality and population build up
The mortality data were recorded after 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours exposure number of fatalities were noted in each drugs’ respective concentration [16]. The bioassays were conducted under the same climatic conditions. The specimens were considered dead if they failed to respond while prodding with fine paint-brush. The survivors were released on fresh grains for recording the latent effect of treatments on the population buildup of test pest. For this purpose, 200 g of sieved grains were placed in each glass jar (volume: 30 cc) for each with muslin cloth and secured by a rubber band to disallow the entry of any insect in the jar. It was acclimatized in the laboratory for a period of 10 days. This part of experiment was also conducted under the same climatic conditions as for toxicity assays.

Statistical Analysis
All the values in the test are expressed as mean ± standard deviation (SD). The data were statistically analyzed by ANOVA (Analysis of variance) and post-hoc Dunnett’s tests with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 16.0, USA) program. Dissimilarity between the means of the various groups were measured significant at *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01 and ***P < 0.001.


Effect of  S. asper extract on heat induced haemolysis of HRBCs
From data shown in Table 1, the S. asper extract at all the doses (200–800 μg/ml) protected the human erythrocyte membrane against lysis induced by heat as is shown by the high percentage inhibitions of haemolysis. The percentage inhibitions of lysis shown by the extract doses were lower than that obtained for 200 μg/ml of Acetyl salicylic acid.

Table 1: Effect of S. asper extract on heat induced haemolysis of  HRBCs

Treatment Group


Mean absorbance ± SD

% inhibition of haemolysis

Heated solution

Unheated solution



0.67 ± 0.13

0.3 ± 0.10

Acetyl salicylic acid


0.43 ± 0.09**

0.38 ± 0.08




0.42 ± 0. 07

0.12 ± 0.03




0.41 ± 0. 07**

0.21 ± 0.13




0.28 ± 0.04**

0.08 ± 0.03


All values are expressed as mean ± SD, (n=4); One way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by Dunnet’s test. ** P <0.01, significant compared to control.



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