Pharmaceutical interest

Common names: Sour sop; corrossoller(French), pulippala (Tamil); mempisang, durian b'landa, srikaya blanda, nona blanda (Malay); goyabrano, guanabano (Filipino); mak khieb thet, mang can xiem, tiep parang (Vietnamese).

Cytotoxic property: In regards to the cytotoxic property of Annona muricata L., a number of experiments conducted in vitro have clearly

Fig. 4. Annona muricata L.

Uses: The tanniferous unripe fruits and bark of Annona muricata L. are eaten so as to stop dysentery and diarrhea. In Indonesia, the crushed leaves are applied externally to heal boils and a powder of the dried leaves is used to kill insects. A decoction of the leaves is drunk to expel intestinal worms. In Malaysia, a liquid preparation containing the leaves is applied externally to treat rheumatism, and to alleviate cough and fever. A poultice of the powdered leaves is applied externally to soothe inflamed parts and to treat skin diseases. In the Philippines, the green bark is applied externally to heal wounds and to stop bleeding, and a decoction of the leaves is used to wash ulcers and to heal wounds. In Vietnam, an infusion of leaves is drunkto combat anxiety. In India, the oil expressed from the seeds is applied to the hair to kill lice, but it burns the eyes.

demonstrated that acetogenins are drastically antineoplastic. Annopentocins A-C, cis- and trans- annomuricin D-one inhibit the proliferation of lung carcinoma cells (A549), colon cells (HT29) and pancreatic cells (PACA) cultured in vitro, with potencies equal to or greater than that of adriamycin (Bories C etal., 1991; LiawCC et al, 2002).

Neurological properties: Anonaine, nornuciferine, and asimilobine from Annona muricata L., block 5-hydroxytryptaminergic (5HT1 A) receptors (Hasrat JA et al., 1997) thereby substantiating the anxiolytic use of the plant. Such a property is not surprising since the molecular structures of anonaine, nornuciferine and asimilobine are similar to that of serotonine. 5-Hydroxytryptaminergic (5H^ A) receptors mediate in the central nervous system the autonomic control of hypothermia, hyperphagia, analgesia, blood pressure, venereal desire, anxiety and several behavioral paradigms. It has been hypothesized that the anxiolytic property of bus-pirone is on account of a blockade of 5-hydroxytryptaminergic (5H^A) receptors. Methysergide, a partial 5-hydroxytryptaminergic (5HT) agonist, and sumatriptan, a 5-hydroxytryptaminergic (5HTtD) agonist, are drugs used to assuage headache.

There is an expanding body of evidence to suggest that over representation of atypical Parkinsonism and progressive supranuclear palsy in the French West Indies could be due to the ingestion of Annona muricata L. A case-control work carried on 87 patients with Parkinsonism indicates that 29 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy and 30 patients with atypical Parkinsonism were regularly ingesting the fruit of Annona muricata L. (Caparros-Lefebvre D et al., 1999). Movement disorder is a symptom of extrapyramidal motor

Fig. 5. Hypothetic mechanism of action of Annona muricata L. alkaloid on the central nervous system via blockage of dopaminergic D2 receptors in the basal ganglia. ACH: acetylcholine; ALK: alkaloid of Annona muricata; C: cortex; DA: dopamine; GP: globus pallidus; SM: striated muscle; P: putamen; SN: substancia nigra; T: thalamus.

Fig. 5. Hypothetic mechanism of action of Annona muricata L. alkaloid on the central nervous system via blockage of dopaminergic D2 receptors in the basal ganglia. ACH: acetylcholine; ALK: alkaloid of Annona muricata; C: cortex; DA: dopamine; GP: globus pallidus; SM: striated muscle; P: putamen; SN: substancia nigra; T: thalamus.

dysfunction and a prominent manifestation of diseases affecting the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia receives impulses from different parts of the cerebral cortex and plays a key role in the control of movement. The basal ganglia consists of the caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, substancia nigra and subthalamic nucleus, which are interconnected by dopaminergic and cholinergic neurons, deep within the cerebral hemispheres (Fig. 5). Under normal condition, the dopaminergic system inhibits the cholinergic output. In the case of Parkinsonism, the dopaminergic neurons of the substancia nigra fail to control the cholinergic output, thus resulting in tremors, rigidity and akynesia. Antipsy-chotic drugs reducing the concentration of striatal dopamine (reserpine) or blocking the dopaminergic D2 receptors (phenothiazines and butyrophenones) are well-known to cause Parkinsonism. Are anonaine, nornuciferine, and asimilobine able to block the dopaminergic D2 receptors of the basal ganglia or do they enhance the cholinergic activity? Ingestion of Annona muricata L. causes galactorrhea and tremors (Rom'an G, 1998), two typical symptoms of dopamine D2 blockade. Oxoaporphine, aporphine, and a series of phenan-threne alkaloids characterized from Annona purpurea inhibit significantly the aggregation of platelets (Chang FR et al., 1998), suggesting the inhibition of phospholipase A2.

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