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Nigerian Society for Experimental Biology
ISSN: 0795-8080
Vol. 23, No. 3, 2011, pp. 129-135
Bioline Code: bk11018
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Biokemistri, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2011, pp. 129-135

 en Sphingomyelinase inhibitory and free radical scavenging potential of selected Nigerian medicinal plant extracts
Awah, Francis M.; Uzoegwu, Peter N.; Ifeonu, Patrick; Oyugi, Julius O.; Rutherford, John; Yao, XiaoJian; Fehrmann, Frauke; Fowke, Keith R. & Eze, Michael O.


Ceramides from sphingolipid breakdown, and other sphingolipid metabolites, mediate cellular signalling in infectious and other diseases. Therefore, inhibitors of sphingomyelinases (SMases), hold promise as prospective therapeutic agents. Considering the potential therapeutic utility, this in vitro study explored the sphingomyelinase inhibitory, and free radical scavenging potential of five Nigerian medicinal plant leaf extracts, purported to have efficacy against diseases, including HIV/AIDS. The extracts’ sphingomyelinase inhibitory potencies were assessed colorimetrically and theirfree radical scavenging capabilities were assayed by the ability to quench 2,2‐diphenyl‐1‐picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical and superoxide anion (O2.‐) radical. Considering their IC50 (μg/ml) values, the extracts inhibited the biochemical activity of sphingomyelinase in a dose-dependent manner, relative to imipramine the standard inhibitor (IC50 38.5 ± 2.4 μg/ml). With Aloe vera as least inhibitory, inhibition increased as follows: Aloe vera check for this species in other resources (Asphodelaceae) (1132 ± 10.8) < Senna siamea check for this species in other resources (Fabaceae) (992.2 ± 11.2) < Azadirachta indica check for this species in other resources (Meliaceae) (984 ± 7.4) < Landolphia owariensis check for this species in other resources (Apocynaceae) (146.3 ± 9.4) < Stachytarpheta angustifolia check for this species in other resources (Verbenacae) (100.3 ± 8.7). DPPH radical scavenging relative to ascorbic acid standard increased as: A. indica < A. vera < S. siamea < S. angustifolia < L. owariensis; and superoxide anion quenching, relative to standard rutin increased as: A. vera < S. angustifolia < L. owariensis < S. siamea < A. indica.These results showed thatthe most potent SMase inhibitor was S. angustifolia; whereas, for DPPH radical scavenging and superoxide inhibition, the most potent of the five extracts were L. owariensis and A. indica respectively.These extracts deserve further investigation into their biological effects.

Sphingomyelinase inhibition; free radical scavenging; medicinal plants

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