A REVIEW ON ABRUS PRECATORIUS
v. Aanthelmintic Activity:
Aqueous extract of stem and root of Abrus precatorius was evaluated for its anthelmintic activity using in vitro experiments with cestodes and schistosomula. Lethal concentration against cestodes was 103 mg/ml for the extract of root. However, extracts of root (0.6 mg/ml) and stem (1.5 mg/ml) of Abrus precatorius showed best results against schistosomules. Indole alkaloids (abrine) amino acids, tannins, terpenes, steroids and flavonoids have been detected in Abrus precatorius. A high concentration of one of these constituents or a combination of them may be responsible for the anthelmintic effect, and without doubt makes A. precatorius a potent plant in the vernacular treatment of schistosomiasis (13).
Methylene chloride and methanol fraction of arial parts of Abrus precatorius was evaluated for its in vitro antithrombin activity. A corning 96 well flat bottom plate (well diameter 6.4 mm) was utilized. Into the first well, pure methanol (50 ml) was placed for the control. Then 50 ml of the thrombin solution (which has been prepared by reconstituting 500 units of Bovine Plasma Lyophilized powder from Sigma Chemical Company) was placed in each well. The plate was then incubated at 37 oC for 5 min. Subsequently, 50 ml of the chromogenic reagent was placed in each well. The 96 well plates were then placed in a Molecular Devices kinetic microplate reader. The absorbance at 45 nm was measured continuously over a 5 min period. A plot of this continuous measurement was obtained as well as the absorbance at the end of the 5 min. Methylene chloride and methanol fraction showed 53 % and 31 % of inhibition, respectively, and has demonstrated activity in inhibition of thrombin (14).
Antiferitility activity of ethanlic extract of A. prectaorius seed was evaluated for its effect on sperm production and DNA integrity of spermatozoa in intraperitoneally administered adult male albino mice of BALB/c strain.The daily sperm production was measured by counting testicular spermtids in Horwell chamber while DNA damage in epididymal spermatozoa was determined by comet assay in 20 days of experimental procedure. The intraperitoneal administration of 20 and 60 mg/kg of ethanolic seed extract of A. precatorius caused a highly significant (p<0.001) decrease in daily sperm production. The reversibility in sperm production was observed in all the treated animals after 20 days of withdrawal of treatment. Similarly, a highly significant increase (p<0.001) in DNA damage was observed in all the treated animals and no significant reversibility in DNA damage was observed during treatment period. This study suggests the role of seed extract of A. precatorius as an antifertility agent or contraceptive with a risk of DNA damage in spermatozoa and may lead to teratogenic effects(15).
viii. Sperm Antimotility Activity:
This study examined the inhibitory effects of a methanol extract of Abrus precatorius seeds on the motility of washed human spermatozoa. The extract caused a concentration-related impairment of percentage sperm motility; with the EC50 concentration being 2.29 mg/ml. This effect on motility was essentially irreversible. In contrast, with a lower concentration (5.0 mg/ml), such effects were not evident. It is concluded that at the lower concentrations the antimotility action may result from a rise in intracellular calcium (not via influx) and/or a decline in cAMP content and/or enhanced generation of a reactive oxygen species (16).
ix. Renal Damage:
Renal protective activities of the seed extract of Abrus precatorius following alcohol induced renal damage in adult male Sprague dawley wister rats was investigated. Histological studies, biochemical indicators of renal function and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, as markers of lipid peroxidation, were thereafter determimed. Oral administration of alcohol caused significant elevation of serum potassium and sodium levels as well as creatinine and malondialdehyde levels. There were structural alterations in renal tubules, glomerular infiltration by chronic inflammatory cells. Concurrent administration of same doses of alcohol and seed extract of Abrus precatorius resulted in a suppression of alcohol- induced renal injury. Measurement of malondialdehyde level indicated that this effect is related to the attenuation of alcohol induced lipid peroxidation by the seed extract (p<0.05). Seed extract of Abrus precatorius could protect the kidney against alcohol- induced parenchymal injury (14).
Nephroprotective study of aqueous extract of arial parts of Abrus preacatorius was undertaken to determine the recovery effect of cisplatin and acetaminophen induced nephrotoxicity. The recovery effect of Abrus precatorius on HEK 293 cells that had been damage by cisplatin and acetaminophen were evaluated by mitochondrial activity MTS assay. The assay showed that Abrus precatorius had best recovery effect and can be used for the prevention or treatment of renal disorders(15, 16).
Abrusagglutinin, similar to ML-1 with respect to carbohydrate specificity [gal (β1→3) gal/Nac], was studied both in native (NA) and heat denatured (HDA) condition for murine splenocyte proliferation, cytokine secretion, NK-cell activation and thymocyte proliferation in vitro with a view to assess its potential as an immunomodulator. Both NA and HDA activate splenocytes and induce production of cytokines like IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF- αβ indicating a Th1 type of immune response. Native agglutinin and HDA induced conditioned media of adherent splenocytes could stimulate non-adherent splenocytes and vice versa. Heat denatured agglutinin was able to induce NK-cell activation at much lower concentration than that of NA, but the extent of NK-cell activation was higher for NA. Proliferation of thymocytes by NA and HDA was also observed. This study indicates that Abrusagglutinin could be a potential immunomodulator both in native as well as in heat denatured form (17, 18).
xii. Immunostimulatory Properties:
In vitro immunostimulatory effect of Abrus lectins derived peptide fractions (AGP and ABP) was investigated in DL bearing mice. Both AGP and ABP were found to activate splenocytes and induced production of cytokines like IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α indicating a Th1 type of immune response. It was also observed that NK cell was activated by AGP and ABP. These results suggest that both AGP and ABP act as immunostimulants in vitro in DL bearing mice (18).
xiii. Anti-inflammatory Activity:
Two triterpenoid saponins 1 and 2 isolated from the aerial parts of Abrus precatorius and their acetates derivatives, 3 and 4 have been tested for anti-inflammatory activity using the croton oil ear model. Tissue portions of the ears of the rats treated with anti-inflammatory agents was compared with those of test treated group. Reduction in inflammation was observed in the ears of the rats under test, whereas inflammation was markedly observed in the ears of the rats under control. All test compounds exhibited anti-inflammatory activity but the acetates showed greater inhibition at both 300 µg and 600 µg concentration than the parent compounds. Acetates derivatives of parent compounds were more effective at 600 µg concentration among all test treated group (19).
xiv. Antidiabetic Effect:
The antidiabetic effect of chloroform – methanol extract of Abrus precatorious seed, was studied in alloxan diabetic rabbits. The effect was compared to that of chlorpropamide – a known antidiabetic drug in the class of sulphonylurea and a control group that received normal saline instead of the extract. When 50 mg / kg body weight of chloroform – methanol, chlorpropamide and 5 ml of normal saline for control were given orally, blood glucose levels decreased in chloroform – methanol and chlorpropamide groups of alloxan diabetic rabbits but not in control. This study therefore has shown that the chloroform – methanol extract of Abrus precatorius seed has some antidiabetic properties similar to that of chlopropamide (20).
The plant Abrus precatorious Linn produced different pharmacological activity eg. Antimalarial, Anidiabetic, Anti-inflammatory, Immunomodulator, Nephroprotectie etc. the plant also have traditional value such as aphrodisiac, remove biliousness, useful in eye diseases, cures leucoderma, itching, skin diseases and wounds. The above medicinal value of this plant is due to the presence of glycosides and alkaloids obtained from the various parts of this plant.
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