Pharmaceutical interest

Cytotoxic properties: The Macaranga species have attracted a great deal of interest on account of the presence of prenylated stilbenes which are drastically cytotoxic. One such stilbene is mappain from the leaves of Macaranga mappa which inhibits the growth of both drug-sensitive SK-OV-3 and drug-resistant SKVLB-1 ovarian cell lines at doses of the micromolar range (Van der Vaaden, 2001). Other examples are schweinfurthins A, B and C, isolated from Macaranga schweinfurthii, which display a cytotoxic pattern similar to that of stelletins and cephalotatins in the NCI-60-cell screen (Beutter JA et a/., 1998). It will be interesting to learn whether a more intensive study on Macaranga denticulata (Bl.) Muell.-Arg. will reveal any prenylated stilbenes of chemotherapeutic value.

Uses: In China, Macaranga denticulata (Bl.) Muell.-Arg. is used to expel impurities, treat paralysis and aid recovery from childbirth. In Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the plant is used to aid recovery from childbirth. In Malaysia, the plant is used to aid recovery from childbirth and to counteract putrefaction of the skin.

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