Pharmaceutical interest

Cytotoxic properties: Goniothalamus species are interesting because they produce cytotoxic ^tog^n^ styryl- Fig. 10. Goniothalamus macrophyllus (Bl.) lactones and quinones. Hook. f. & Thoms.

Common names: Bihidieng, penawarhitam, bongsoi(Malay).

Acetogenins: 2,4-cis and trans-gigan-terinones characterized from the bark of Goniothalamus giganteus Hook. f. & Thoms., inhibit the proliferation of the PC-human prostate adenocarcinoma cell-line cultured in vitro (Alali FQ etal., 1997).

Goniothalamin Kavain

Styryl lactones: An example of cytotoxic styryl-lactone is goniodiol-7-monoacetate, which inhibits the proliferation of KB, P388, RPMI and TE 671 tumor cell-lines cultured in vitro (Wu YC et al., 1991). Another styryl-lactone, goniothalamin, characterized from Goniothalamus tapis Miq. inhibits the proliferation of HCG-27, MCF7, PAN C-1, HeLa cancerous cell-lines and noncancerous (3T3) cell-lines cultured in vitro (Ali AM et al., 1997). The cytotoxic mode of action involved here needs to be further clarified and could involve apoptosis, inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, and inhibition of topoisomerase II. Goniothalamin causes apoptosis in JurkatT-cells on account of the activation of caspases 3 and 7 (Inayat-Hussain SH etal., 1999). Styryl-lactones characterized from Goniothalamus arvensis inhibit the mitochondrial respiratory chain (Peris E etal., 2000). Howiinol, a phenylethylene pyrone characterized from Goniothalamus howii exerts a potent inhibitory effect on cancer cells and inhibits topoisomerase II (Xu CX et al., 1999). 1-azaanthraquinones and 3-aminonaphthoquinone, 2 cytotoxic quinones were characterized from Goniothalamus marcanii(Soonthornchareonnon N etal., 1999).

Other pharmacological properties: The abortifacient property of Goniothalamus macrophyllus (Bl.) Hook. f. & Thoms. could probably be owed to goniothalamin, the intraperitonneal injections of which (139mg/Kg) during the first 7 days of gestation causes abortion in animals (Azimahtol HL et al., 1994). Goniothalamin and gonodiol inhibit the expression of intercellular and vascular inflammatory messengers by murine endothelial cells, suggesting anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties (Tanaka S et al., 2001). Note that the structure of goniothalamin is very much like the structure of kawaine from Piper methysticum Forst. (family Piperaceae, order Piperales, subclass Magnoliidae), an anxiolytic herb of commercial value. Does Goniothalamus macrophyllus (Bl.) Hook. f. & Thoms. hold any anxiolytic properties?

Use: In Malaysia, a decoction of the root is used to aid abortion or to aid recovery from childbirth. A decoction of the leaves is drunk to combat fever. Indonesians drink a decoction of the roots for the same purpose.

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