Sarcolobus Globulosus

Mustafa MR, etal. (1990) Toxicon 28(10): 1237-1239. Mustafa MR, (1993) Toxicon 31(1): 67-74.

Warning: Caution must be taken as the toxic effects of this plant are unknown. Tylophora tenuis Bl.

[From Greek, tulos = knob and phero = bear and from Latin, tenuis = thin]

Physical description: It is a climber of the tidal rivers of India, Malaysia, Borneo and Java. Leaves: simple,

Fig. 286. Sarcolobus globulus Wall.

Uses: Sarcolobus globulus Wall. is principally used in Malaysia where the leaves are mixed with the nuts, Aleurite moluccana, to treat rheumatic joints, dengue and to combat fever. The seeds are lethal to human, but coconut water acts as an antidote.

Common name: Akar saput tunggal (Malay & Indonesian).

Uses: In Indonesia, the leaves of Tylophora cissoides Bl. f. are used to assuage abdominal pain and to treat thrush. In Malaysia, the leaves of Tylophora tenuis Bl. are used to soothe inflamed parts. In the Philippines, a decoction of the roots of Tylophora brevipes (Turcz.) F. Vill. is drunk to induce vomiting, to promote menses, to treat flatulence, to combat fever, to promote expectoration and to assuage stomachache. The leaves of Tylophora perrottetiana Decne are used to heal wounds. In India, both Tylophora asthmatica Wight. and Arn. and Tylophora indica are used to treat asthma.

Fig. 287. Tylophora tenuis Bl.

opposite, 2 cm-5 cm x 1 cm-2.5 cm, succulent, without stipules, and very thin. The petiole is 1.2 cm long. The blade is lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate and round at the base. The inflorescences are 8 cm long panicles, originating from the stems between the petioles. The calyx lobes are lanceolate. The corolla is tubular, 5-lobed, rotate and small. The corona consists of small succulent tubercules, adnate to and radiating from the base of the stamens. The stami-nal column originates from the base of the corolla. The fruits consist of pairs of lanceolate, dagger-shaped, 5cm-8cm long acuminate follicles containing several comose seeds (Fig. 287).

Pharmaceutical interest: Tylophora species have attracted a great deal of interest on account of their tendency to elaborate series of phenanthroin-dolizidine alkaloids such as tylocrebine, which behave pharmacologically like glucocorticoids. Such a property is conceivable since the chemical structure of tylocrebine, for instance, is relatively similar to the chemical structure our own steroids, hence confirming experimentally the anti-asthma and antiinflammatory properties (Fig. 289).

""OH OH

OCH3 Of of

Tylocrebine Cortisone

Dexamethazone

Fig. 289. Note the similitude of chemical structure between tylocrebine cortisone and dexamethasone.

""OH OH

OCH3 Of of

Tylocrebine Cortisone

Dexamethazone

Fig. 289. Note the similitude of chemical structure between tylocrebine cortisone and dexamethasone.

Anti-asthma and anti-inflammatory properties: The efficacy of Tylophora indica to treat asthma is confirmed (Thiruvengadam KV et al., 1978) in a per os double blind clinical trial (Gupta S et al., 1979). Tylophorine, the major phenanthroindolizidine alkaloid of Tylophora indica displays in vivo anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties (Gopalakrishnana C et al., 1979). The latter effect is known as the side effect of corticosteroid therapy. Ethanolic extracts of Tylophora indica tested on delayed-type hypersensitivity, humoral response to sheep blood cells, skin allograft rejection, and phagocytic activity of the reticuloendothelial system in mice, boost the phagocytic function while cutting down the humoral component of the immune system (Atal CK et al., 1986). Extracts of Tylophora asthmatica Wight. antagonize the dexamethasone/hypophysectomy-induced suppression of pituitary on activity of the adrenals, suggesting a direct stimulating effect of the adrenal cortex synthesis of corticosteroids (Udupa AL et al., 1991). Phenanthroin-dolizidine involve both immune and endocrine systems, thus appearing as potential antiasthmatic therapeutic drugs and may represent an interesting material in the understanding of the mode of action of glucocorticoid on asthma.

Tylogenine, a steroidal aglycone characterized from Tylophora sylvatica displays anti-allergenic properties (Gnabre JN et al., 1994) and inhibits the release of basophilic mediators, induced by immunoglobulin E for allergic reaction and the release of serotonine by basophile cells (IC50 = 39 ^M; P<0.05) more potently than dexamethasone (IC50 = 912 ^M). In the human leukocyte-dependent histamine release test, tylogenine (IC50 = 49 ^M; P<0.05) acts more potently than dexamethasone (IC50 = 257 ^M).

Other pharmacological properties: Acetyltylophoroside and tylogenine, 2 steroids, inhibit the enzymatic activity of Na+/K+-ATPase, in spite of having chemical structures different from cardiac glycosides (GnabreJN etal., 1993). Extracts of leaves and stem of Tylophora indica have anti-cancer properties (Chitnis MP etal., 1972).

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