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Evaluation of Phenotypic Coefficient and Flavonolignan Content in Dried Fruits of Cultivated and Endemic Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn

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Abstract

Background: Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine for treatment of liver disease. Fruits of S. marianum contain silymarin, which is composed of the flavonolignans, silybin, isosilybin, silydianin and silychristin. Objective: The aim of this research was to investigate the effects of environmental conditions on silymarin content and morphological characteristic of S. marianum. Method: The dried fruits of S. marianum were collected from 13 area of Iran and cultivated at greenhouse conditions. Morphological characteristic were studied and silymarin content analyzed by HPLC. Results: The results showed that silybin is the main component of silymarin and was affected by environmental conditions. Conclusion: The amount of silymarin was very different in cultivated and endemic plants in comparison with together. The silymarin content had a significant positive correlation with seed yield/plant, stem diameter and number of capsules/plant.

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... The methanol solution was concentrated to a dry residue. The extract was dissolved in 10 ml of methanol and kept at 48C in darkness (Cacho et al. 1999;Hasanloo et al. 2007). ...
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It is well documented that ultraviolet (UV) light-induced immune suppression and oxidative stress play an important role in the induction of skin cancers. Earlier, we have shown that topical treatment of silymarin, a plant flavonoid from milk thistle (Silybum marianum L. Gaertn.), to mouse skin prevents photocarcinogenesis, but the preventive mechanism of photocarcinogenesis in vivo animal system by silymarin is not well defined and understood. To define the mechanism of prevention, we employed immunostaining, analytical assays and ELISA which revealed that topical treatment of silymarin (1 mg/cm2 skin area) to C3H/HeN mice inhibits UVB (90 mJ/cm2)-induced suppression of contact hypersensitivity (CHS) response to contact sensitizer dinitrofluorobenzene. Prevention of UVB-induced suppression of CHS by silymarin was found to be associated with the inhibition of infiltrating leukocytes, particularly CD11b+ cell type, and myeloperoxidase activity (50-71%). Silymarin treatment also resulted in significant reduction of UVB-induced immunosuppressive cytokine interleukin-10 producing cells and its production (58-72%, p<0.001). Topical treatment of silymarin also resulted in significant reduction of the number of UVB-induced H2O2 producing cells and inducible nitric oxide synthase expressing cells concomitant with decrease in H2O2 (58-65%, p<0.001) and nitric oxide (65-68%, p<0.001) production. Together, these data suggest that prevention of UVB-induced immuno-suppression and oxidative stress by silymarin may be associated with the prevention of photocarcinogenesis in mice. The data obtained from this study also suggest: i) phase-I clinical trial of silymarin in high skin cancer risk human population and ii) development of sunscreen containing silymarin as an antioxidant (chemopreventive agent) or silymarin can be supplemented in skin care products.
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Phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variability, heritability in broad sense and genetic advance were determined investigating the characters of 15 accessions of Silybum marianum. Seed yield/plant and number of capsules/plant had highest estimates of genotypic variation, heritability and genetic advance which suggest that direct selection for these traits is suitable for the improvement of this crop. Number of capsules/plant had a significant positive correlation with the number of branches/plant and leaf length (r=0.3398, 0.7547), whereas seed yield/plant had a positive significant correlation with leaf length, stem diameter, capsule diameter and silymarin content (r=0.6830, 0.3140, 0.3484, 0.2925).
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