Pharmaceutical interest

Anti-inflammatory properties: A simple dose of an aqueous suspension of latex of Calotropis procera is effective to a significant level against acute inflammation responses on carrageenan-and formalin-induced paw oedema model (Kumar VL et a/., 1994). An ethanolic extract of flowers of Calotropis procera alleviates paw edema caused by carrageenan, by 37%, and lowers fever in rats by 40%. It is moderately active in the writhing test using acetic acid and a dose-dependent effect on the release of prostaglandins is observed (Mascolo N et a/., 1988). What are the active principles involved here?

Chemotherapeutic properties: Extract of Calotropis gigantea (Willd.) Dry. ex WT. Ait inhibit the proliferation of a number of bacteria cultured in vitro (Mascolo N et a/., 1988). An extract of leaves of the plant inhibits the enzymatic activity of mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase of a filarial worm: Setaria digitata (Banu MJ et a/., 1992). Extracts of Calotropis procera are cytotoxicity

(IC50 = 1.4 ^g/mL) against Colo-320 tumor cells, using the microtubule tetra-zolium assay (Smith HF etal., 1995).

Cardiovascular properties: Calotropine and frugoside characterized from the roots of Calotropis gigantea (Willd.) Dry. ex WT. Ait display similar cell-line selectivity to those of digoxin and ouabain: toxic to human cell-line but not to mouse at 2 ^g/mL (Kiuchi F et al., 1998). Extracts of the plant protect dogs against experimentally-induced arrhythmia (Kulkarni SD etal., 1976).The roots are known to abound with oxypregnane-oligoglycoside, known as calotropo-sides A and B which are parasympathomimetic (Kitagawa I et al., 1992).

Oxypregnane aglycone
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