Pharmaceutical interest

Central analgesic properties: A lyophilized aqueous extract of the roots of Morinda citrifolia L. is dose-dependent analgesic in the writhing and hotplate tests. This effect is inhibited by Naloxone. The extract at high dosages decreases all behavioral parameters in the two compartment tests: the light/dark choice situation test and the staircase tests, together with the induced sleeping time (Younos C et al., 1990).

Antitumor properties: The juice expressed from the fruits of Morinda citrifolia L. contains a polysaccharide which significantly enhances the duration of the survival of the inbred syngeneic LLC tumor-bearing mice. Concomitant treatment with 2 immunosuppressive agents: 2-chloroadenosin or cyclosporine, lowers this property, thereby substantiating an immunomodulatory mechanism. This polysaccharide stimulates the release of a number of mediators from murine effectors cells, including tumor necrosis factor a, interleukin1^, interleukin10, interleukin12p70, interferon y and nitric oxide, but has no effect on interleukin2 and suppresses the release of interleukin4. This polysaccha-ride improves survival time and the curative property when combined with suboptimal doses of standard chemotherapeutic agents: adriamycin, cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil and vincristine, suggesting a clinical application (Hurazumi A et al., 1999). An anthraquinone identified as damnacanthal and characterized from a chloroformic extract of the roots of Morinda citrifolia L., causes normal morphology and cytoskeleton structure in K-rasts-NRK cells at permissive temperature, without changing the amount and localization of Ras.The effect of damnacanthal is reversible. The compound has no effect on the morphology of RSVts-NRK cells, expressing the src oncogene (Hiramatsu T et al., 1993).

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