Irene Mackraj

Irene Mackraj
University of KwaZulu-Natal | ukzn · Department of Human Physiology

BSc, MMedSci,PhD: Physiology

About

71
Publications
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Publications

Publications (71)
Article
Full-text available
Sepsis, a dysregulated immune response due to life-threatening organ dysfunction, caused by drug-resistant pathogens, is a major global health threat contributing to high disease burden. Clinical outcomes in sepsis depend on timely diagnosis and appropriate early therapeutic intervention. There is a growing interest in the evaluation of nanotechnol...
Article
Hesperidin, a ubiquitous plant-based flavanone, was encapsulated into nanoemulsions (HP-NEM) using a spontaneous emulsification method to improve its solubility and enhance bioavailability and efficacy in breast cancer treatment using MCF-7 cell lines. The cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of HP-NEM against MCF-7 and its impact on oncomiRs, microRNA-...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review This review focuses on the associations between the renin-angiotensin system, hypertension, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-COV-2) infection. A brief prelude on the current state of affairs with COVID-19 is given. In addition to an overview of ACE2, Ang II, and Ang (1–7), this review presents a brief statement on hyper...
Article
Full-text available
In the original publication of this article, the reference 18 was missing. The original article has been corrected.
Article
The surprising discovery of an animal pigment bilirubin found in the plant Strelitzia nicolai, has led us to investigate the biological properties of bilirubin in human physiology. Classically, it is a well-known toxic metabolite in the degradation of hemoglobin, however at slightly elevated levels could be beneficial. Reports suggest that bilirubi...
Article
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) are utilised as a key constituent in many biopharmaceuticals and food products. This is mainly attributed to their favorable chemical properties which enhance their biocompatibility. However, alteration of the physicochemical properties in various matrices remains unexplored. The present study aims to determ...
Article
This study investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying the anticancer activity of hesperidin and luteolin, isolated from Eriocephalus africanus, in the human breast carcinoma cell line (MCF-7). The viability of MCF-7 cells, upon treatment with hesperidin and luteolin, was evaluated using the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazoliu...
Article
Full-text available
The existence and role of the microbiome in regulating physiological and pathophysiological conditions including metabolism, energy homeostasis, immune tolerance, behavior, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular-related diseases is of immense interest. It is now clear that the human placenta is not sterile, but rather colonized with microbes. The pl...
Article
The global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has resulted in over 7,273,958 cases with almost over 413,372 deaths worldwide as per the WHO situational report 143 on COVID-19. There are no known treatment regimens with proven efficacy and vaccines thus far,...
Article
In South Africa, pre-eclampsia (PE) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are major causes of pregnancy-related deaths. This study aimed to measure serum levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1), soluble endoglin (sEng) and placental growth factor (PlGF) in HIV-i...
Article
This study investigated the in vitro anticancer potential of phytochemical constituents isolated from the methanolic extract of Eriocephalus africanus. One flavanone (hesperidin) and two flavones (luteolin and apigenin) were isolated for the first time from the plant using column chromatography. Standard MTT assay was used to evaluate the effect of...
Article
Objectives: The pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia (PE) is associated with significant maternal and neonatal complications, an increased inflammatory response, placental hypoxia, and endothelial dysfunction, coupled with differential exosomal release profiles with immune modulation effects. Hence, this study evaluated the impact of circulating exosomes...
Article
Full-text available
Phytotherapeutic treatments have been on the ascendancy over the years as the quest for alternate and easily accessible health care is on the rise. Tulbaghia acutiloba has been used by both traditional healers and the South African population for the management of chronic conditions but lacks scientific authentication. Hydro-methanolic extracts (ro...
Article
pH-responsive drug delivery systems have shown significant potential for delivering antibiotics to the site of infection. This work aimed to develop and evaluate novel pH-responsive lipid-dendrimer hybrid nanoparticles (LDH-NPs) for Vancomycin (VCM) delivery to the site of bacterial infection and intracellular delivery. The LDH-NPs were prepared by...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Preeclampsia is the leading cause of maternal and fetal mortality due to the inability to diagnose and treat the disorder early in pregnancy. This is attributed to the complex pathophysiology and unknown etiology of the disorder, which is modulated by several known and unknown factors. Exosomes have recently been implicated as possible...
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Tulbaghia violacea Harv. (TVL) is a folk medicine, native to South Africa which has previously shown antioxidant, anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic effects. The Aim of the study: The aim of the current study was to investigate the protective role of wild garlic or TVL on isoproterenol (ISO)-induced myocardial necro...
Article
HAART has brought relief to many living with HIV/ AIDS, decreasing morbidity and mortality rates. In spite of these benefits, the treatment has been associated with reproductive disorders. This study is aimed at investigating the effects of Naringenin (Nar) on the expression of testicular 3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β HSD) in HAART-treated Sp...
Conference Paper
Hyperglycaemia is a major cause for microvascular impediments of diabetes, a crucial factor in the development of diabetic nephropathy, because of its impact on cells (e.g. glomerular and mesangial), and is considered a serious common complication leading to end stage renal disease. Therefore, there is still a need for continuing research and devel...
Article
In the face of escalating maternal and fetal health threats, hypertensive pregnancy disorders (HPDs) is one of the leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The range of HPDs include white-coat hypertension, chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, mild-to-moderate and severe preeclampsia and eclampsia. Current evidence im...
Article
Full-text available
The present study was designed to evaluate the combined effect of lithium and aripiprazole supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids in methylphenidate (MPD)-induced manic mice. Swiss albino mice were administered with MPD or saline for 14 days, and based on changes in behavioral activities animals were treated with lithium, aripiprazole, and omega-3 f...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine microRNAs (miRNAs) expression levels in placental tissue and serum samples from preeclampsia (PE) and gestational hypertensive (GH) patients. Study design: Using a targeted qPCR method, the selected miRNAs putatively involved in the PE and GH were examined from normotensive (n = 32), PE (n...
Article
Background: The first trimester of pregnancy remains an unknown immunological adaptation. Cytokines and syncytiotrophoblast microvesicles (STBM) have been identified as key factors involved in the maternal immune adaptation. This study therefore aims to determine the levels of T helper cell 1 (Th1) and 2 (Th2) associated cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 in...
Article
Objective: Quantification of circulating fetal and total cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and soluble human leucocyte antigen (HLAG) in gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia. Methods: Serum cfDNA were quantified in controls, pre-eclamptics, and gestational hypertensive patients using real-time qPCR. Soluble HLAG was measured by enzyme-linked immune-sorbe...
Article
Objectives: Preeclampsia (PE) occurs as a result placental hypoxia-induced oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress, and is associated with the activation of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and apoptotic CHOP pathways with the consequential shedding of syncytiotrophoblast microvesicles which may be central in mediating the maternal systemic...
Article
Full-text available
Preeclampsia remains a leading cause of maternal and fetal mortality, due to ineffective treatment and diagnostic strategies, compounded by the lack of clarity on the etiology of the disorder. Although several clinical and biological markers of preeclampsia have been evaluated, they have proven to be ineffective in providing a definitive diagnosis...
Article
Myocardial infarction (MI) is the one of the major causes of death worldwide, however the molecular mechanisms hidden under this disease conditions remain unknown. This demands serious attention to unravel the molecular mechanisms to identify the therapeutic strategies either to prevent or to control MI. Ayurveda is becoming one of the best alterna...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the effects of sildenafil citrate (SC) on podocyturia in Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (l-NAME) model of pre-eclampsia (PE). One hundred and twenty Sprague–Dawley rats (SDR) were divided into five groups like pregnant control (PC), early-onset PE (EOPE), late-onset PE(LOPE), early and late-onset PE with SC-treated g...
Article
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of methonolic extracts of Tulbaghia violacea (TVL), on Jurkat cells (human T lymphocyte). Jurkat cells were treated with IC50 concentrations of TVL (leaf, rhizome and stalk) extracts as determined by MTT assay and glutathione (GSH) concentration was measured using the GSH-Glo assay. The co...
Article
Pre-eclampsia (PE), a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, is detrimental to both mother and foetus. There is currently no effective treatment, but we have shown that Sildenafil Citrate (SC) improve various foetal outcomes in Nω-nitro-L arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) rat model of PE. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effects of SC on a uterine...
Article
Introduction and aim: Exosomes are a subtype of extracellular vesicle (20-130 nm) released by biological cells under normal and pathological conditions. Although there have been reports of circulating exosomes in normal pregnancy, the relevance of placental-derived exosomes in normal and abnormal pregnancies still needs to be elucidated. The aim o...
Article
Full-text available
Background Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a cluster of metabolic diseases with chronic hyperglycemia as a defining feature, associated with long-term organ damage and dysfunction. In this study we examined the effect of Tulbaghia violacea rhizome methanolic extract on blood glucose and lipids in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Material...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) continues to rise alarmingly despite years of intensive research. The need to explore alternative remedies such as traditional phytotherapy has therefore become increasingly important in the management and treatment of DM. Methods: Diabetes was induced by a single intraperitoneal (i.p) injecti...
Article
Objectives: In order to address the gap in our understanding of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of PE, we optimized the NOS inhibition animal model by comparing changes in different parameters at various time frames during pregnancy, in both early and late-onset PE. Study design: 120 nulliparous Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 5 group...
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Tulbaghia violacea has been used traditionally for the treatment of several ailments, including hypertension. The herb has been shown to have antihypertensive properties which have been attributed to its angiotensin-converting enzymeinhibitory (ACEI) activity. It could, therefore, prove beneficial in ameliorating re...
Article
Abstract This study identified and compared the buccal permeability properties of antiretroviral drugs, didanosine (ddI) and tenofovir (TNF), and the permeability effects of polymeric excipients - i.e. carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), sodium alginate (SA), polyacrylic acid (PAA) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) - as potential multifunctional excipients f...
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance: In African folk medicine, Tulbaghia violacea Harv.(Alliaceae), a herbaceous plant also known by other common local names such as 'wild garlic', 'society garlic' and 'sweet garlic', has been used for the management, control and/or treatment of several human ailments; including hypertension. The aim of the present stu...
Article
This study aimed to investigate the effects of Kraussianone-2 (Kr2), a pyrano-isoflavone isolated from the roots of Eriosema kraussianum N. E. Br. (Fabaceae) on various fetal and physiological parameters in pregnant, L-NAME treated Sprague-Dawley rats. Twenty-four pregnant Sprague-Dawley dams were divided into three groups (n = 8), i.e. the control...
Article
Full-text available
The pathogenesis and aetiology of pre-eclampsia (PE) is still unclear. We investigated the role of angiogenic, anti-angiogenic and vasoactive factors in black South African women with early- and late-onset PE. Serum soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1), soluble vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PlGF) leve...
Article
The buccal mucosal route offers several advantages but the delivery of certain drugs can be limited by low membrane permeability. This study investigated the buccal permeability properties of didanosine (ddI) and assessed the potential of Aloe vera gel (AVgel) as a novel buccal permeation enhancer. Permeation studies were performed using Franz diff...
Article
We have previously shown that sildenafil citrate improves various fetal outcomes in pregnant, L-NAME treated, Sprague-Dawley rats. We therefore aimed to identify which component/s of this diverse pathophysiologic cascade is/are improved by this drug. This study is a sub-analysis of plasma samples obtained in a previous study in which 24 pregnant Sp...
Article
This study aimed to investigate the effects of sildenafil citrate on various fetal and physiological parameters, including fetal mortality, number of pups, placental weights and micro-albuminuria in pregnant, L-NAME treated Sprague-Dawley rats. Twenty-four pregnant female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups (n=8). In the L-NAME treated g...
Article
We investigated the effect of a vitamin B6 deficiency and pair-feeding on tissue trace element status. Tissue zinc, copper and iron concentrations were measured in 3 groups of young, male Wistar rats receiving a diet of 3.5mg/kg (control group), 0mg/kg (deficient group) and a pair-fed group over 8 weeks. The pair-fed group received the same diet co...
Article
Novel drug delivery systems present an opportunity for formulation scientists to overcome the many challenges associated with antiretroviral (ARV) drug therapy, thereby improving the management of patients with HIV/AIDS. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the various ARV delivery systems that have been developed for achieving sustained d...
Article
Films prepared by conventional casting onto trays such as teflon-coated perspex trays (TCPTs) suffer from poor drug content uniformity. The aim of this study was to prepare a silicone-molded tray (SMT) with individual wells for film casting and to evaluate it in terms of enhancing drug content uniformity. Films were prepared by solvent evaporation...
Article
There is a surge of interest internationally in the study of nanoparticles for enhancing antiretroviral (ARV) drug therapy. This paper presents a comprehensive review on polymeric nanoparticles for ARV drug therapy. Their main applications for targeting to macrophages and the brain, as well as other studies on modifications to enhance drug loading,...
Article
Traditional herbal remedies still form an integral part of South African culture, hence necessitating reports on the scientific rationale for their uses. Organic and aqueous extracts from 16 nutritive plants found in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa were screened for angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity using a fluorometric enzyme a...
Article
The aim of this study was to prepare and characterise monolayered multipolymeric films (MMFs) comprising of a hydrophilic drug (Propranolol HCl) (PHCl) and polymers of opposing solubilities. Films were prepared by emulsification and casted by a new approach using a silicone-molded tray with individual wells. MMFs comprising of PHCl with Eudragit 10...
Article
The in vivo effects of Tulbhagia violacea on systemic arterial blood pressure and on the renin-angiotensin system in a Dahl salt-sensitive rat model were investigated. Animals were treated for 14 days intraperitoneally as follows: Tulbhagia violacea (Tvl) (50mg/kg b.w.), captopril (Cap) (10mg/kg b.w.) or DMSO (Con). Baseline blood pressures were re...
Article
Salt-sensitive hypertension can be caused through abnormalities related to sodium and body fluid homeostasis; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) plays a key role in this regard. The molecular basis of the purported antihypertensive benefits of some plant-derived compounds such as quercetin is still lacking. To this end, we investigated RAAS in th...
Article
The aims were to compare the mucoadhesivity, controlled release properties, and release mechanisms of several polymeric systems of propranolol buccal tablets and to propose polymer(s) for formulation optimization. Mucoadhesivity differences in the polymer ranking between compacts and tablets were found. Mathematical models that best described the m...
Article
Sanguinarine is an alkaloid found in many medicinal plants. It has diverse biological activities, including modulation of nuclear factor-kappaB and of several enzymes. It is also known to induce apoptosis, perturb microtubules, and to have antimicrobial effects. This article reviews its cardiovascular properties, including hypotensive, antiplatelet...
Article
This study sought to identify and quantify the effects of environmental test parameters on the mucoadhesivity of a propranolol tablet. Their effects on Maximum Detachment Force (MDF) measurements were evaluated using a Box-Behnken design matrix. Prehydration time (PT) had a statistically significant negative main effect while contact force (CF) had...
Article
We studied the in vivo effects of sanguinarine in a hypertensive rat model and its effects on AT1a mRNA expression in kidney tissues. Rats received daily for 14 d sanguinarine 0.1 mg/kg (SangL) and 0.3 mg/kg (SangH), losartan 1 mg/kg by weight (Los), or DMSO (Con). Blood pressures were monitored regularly and urine volume and sodium concentration w...
Article
In the proximal convoluted tubule (PCT) angiotensin II (Ang II) modulates fluid and electrolyte transport through at least two pharmacologically distinct receptor subtypes: AT(1) and AT(2). Development of cell lines that lack these receptors are potentially useful models to probe the complex cellular details of Ang II regulation. To this end, angio...
Article
The objective of the study was to evaluate the concept that genetically predisposed salt-sensitivity contributes to an increased adrenergic susceptibility and renal alpha 2-adrenoceptor (A2) abnormality in Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats. The results showed: i) After 2 months of Na-loading (8% NaCl) Dahl salt-sensitive (DSS) rats expressed in...
Article
Tissue zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and iron (Fe) were determined in three groups of young male Wistar rats that received a daily pyridoxine hydrochloride (PN.HCl) intake of 45, 23 and 0 micrograms respectively in their diets over 8 weeks. No significant differences were found in the Zn and Cu levels in the liver, kidney, skeletal and cardiac tissue of a...

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Projects (4)
Project
To confirm and elucidate the antihypertensive mechanical effect of nutritive plants in South Afria