Pharmaceutical interest

Fig. 303. Ajuga decumbens Thunb. From: KLU 30785. Ex. Herbario Universitatis Toky-oensis. Geographical localization: Japan, C Honshu: Saitama Prefecture: Iruma - Gun, Kuroyama, altitude: 200 m, 27 Apr 1978. Field collector & botanical identification: H Ohashi, H Ohba, YTateishi, J Murata.

Cytotoxic properties: The antitumor property of Ajuga decumbens Thunb. is owing to the element 8-O-acetyl-harpagide, with potent antitumour-

promoting activities on a mouse-skin in vivo. This iridoid glycoside displays remarkable inhibitory effects on a two-stage carcinogenesis test of mouse skin tumors and protects mice against hepatic tumors (Konoshima T et a/., 2000; Takasaki M etal., 1999).

HO OH

HO OH

HO y OH OH

HO y OH OH

8- O Acetylharpagide

Cardiovascular properties: 8-O-acetylharpagide from Ajuga reptans contracts isolated portions of guinea pigs smooth muscle (Breschi MC etal., 1992).The phytoecdysteroidal content of Ajuga decumbensThunb. could be of interest, as phytoecdysteroids isolated Ajuga turkestanica (Rgl) increase the haemoglobin contents of erythrocytes and markedly stimulate the secretion of bile in normal rats. One of these ecdysteroids is turkesterone which stimulates the regeneration of erythrocytes in phenylhydrazine anemia, similar to the well-known steroidal anabolic drug nerobol (Syrov VN etal., 1986; 1997).

Antimicrobial properties: A diterpene isolated from the fresh whole Ajuga lupulina inhibits the growth of Gram-negative bacilli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli (Chen H et al., 1997). A petroleum ether extract of aerial parts of Ajuga remota inhibits the growth of several of pathogen fungi cultured in vitro (Kariba RM, 2001). Ergosterol-5, 8-endoperoxide characterized from the aerial parts of Ajuga remota Benth. is strongly active against Mycobac-terium tuberculosis with an MIC value 1 ¡xglmL against (Cantrell CL et al., 1999). A flavone of Ajuga decumbens Thumb. inhibits the enzymatic activity of Human Immunodeficiency Virus reverse transcriptase (Tang X et al., 1994).

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