Antiprotozoal, antitubercular and cytotoxic potential of cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) extracts from Ireland

Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry, Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, School of Pharmacy, University of London, London WC1N 1AX, UK.
Natural product communications (Impact Factor: 0.91). 05/2011; 6(5):689-94.
Source: PubMed


Cyanobacteria (= blue-green algae) are prolific producers of structurally distinct and biologically active metabolites. In the continuation of our search for new sources of anti-infective natural products, we have assessed the in vitro antiprotozoal (Plasmodium falciparum, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, T. cruzi, Leishmania donovani) and antitubercular (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) potential of samples of two terrestrial cyanobacteria, Nostoc commune (collected when desiccated and wet) and Rivularia biasolettiana. The cytotoxic potential of the extracts was also evaluated against primary L6 cells. Except for T. cruzi and M. tuberculosis, the crude extracts were active against all the organisms tested and showed no toxicity. The crude extracts were then partitioned between n-hexane, chloroform and aqueous methanol and retested against the same panel of pathogens. The chloroform sub-extracts of both N. commune samples showed significant activity against T. b. rhodesiense (IC50 values 2.0 and 3.5 microg/mL) and P. falciparum (IC50s 7.4 and 5.8 microg/mL), with low toxicity. This trend was also true for R. biasolettiana extracts, and its chloroform sub-extract showed notable activity against all parasitic protozoa. There were differences in the biological activity profiles of extracts derived from desiccated and hydrated forms of N. commune. To our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the anti-infective activity of desiccated and hydrated forms of N. commune, as well as R. biasolettiana. Furthermore, the present work reports such biological activity in terrestrial cyanobacteria from Ireland for the first time. These results warrant the further study of Irish terrestrial cyanobacteria as a valuable source of new natural product leads for the treatment of parasitic protozoal infections.

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Available from: Michael D. Guiry, Sep 15, 2014
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    • "Antitumor agents such as vincristine, vinblastine the epiodophyllotoxin derivatives, maytansine, bruceantin, thalicarpine, camptothecin, and lapachol have been reported from higher plants and their pharmacology have been reported [9] . Members of Algae [10] [11] , Lichen [12] [13] , Fungi [14] [15] , pteridophytes [16] [17] , gymnosperms [18] [19] and angiosperms [20] [21] have been evaluated for cytotoxic properties. Traditional anticancerous and antitumourogenic plant reports have been pharmacologically investigated and in many cases scientists have found positive correlation between folklore use and scientific analyses [22] [23] . "
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    ABSTRACT: Bryophytes, taxonomically placed between the algae and the pteridophytes, are divided into three classes such as Liverworts, Hornworts and Mosses. Indigenous use involves this small group of plants to treat various diseases. Bryophytes have been investigated pharmacologically for active biomolecules. Several constituents with therapeutic potential have been isolated, characterized and investigated for antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidative, antiinflamatory and anticancerous efficacy. The present review deals with the literature covering the anticancerous potential of bryophytes. Apart from the examples of the compounds and the containing bryophyte genera, the authors have tried to include the examples of cancer cell lines on which the efficacy have been tested and the mode of action of certain cytotoxic agents. Crude extracts and isolated compounds from bryophytes were found to possess potent cytotoxic properties. Different types of terpenoids and bibenzyls have been reported among the most potent cytotoxic compounds. Most of these compounds were found to induce apoptosis by activating a number of genes and enzymes. Biochemical markers such as DNA fragmentation, nuclear condensation, proteolysis of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, activation of caspases, inhibition of antiapoptotic nuclear transcriptional factor-kappaB, activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase etc. have been found to be associated with apoptotic and necrotic response. This review summarizes recent scientific findings and suggests further investigations to evaluate the cytotoxic efficacy of bryophytes.
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