Antiplasmodial activity of New Caledonia and Vanuatu traditional medicines
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Pharm Biol. 2011 Apr;49(4):369-76. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2010.517541. Epub 2011 Feb 2.
Antiplasmodial activity of New Caledonia and Vanuatu traditional medicines.
Hnawia E1, Hassani L, Deharo E, Maurel S, Waikedre J, Cabalion P, Bourdy G, Valentin A, Jullian V, Fogliani B.
- 1Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, Laboratoire Insulaire du Vivant et de l'Environnement (LIVE), Nouméa, Nouvelle-Calédonie. email@example.com
With the emergence of strains multiresistant to antimalarial drugs, the search for new active molecules remains a priority. Ethnopharmacology appears to be a good method of selection in such investigations.
The aim of this research work is to select plants used in Melanesian traditional medicine, in New Caledonia and Vanuatu, which should be a promising source for the isolation of new antimalarial drugs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Forty-seven plant extracts belonging to 12 families, traditionally used by the Melanesian people or belonging to an antimalarial known genus, were screened in vitro for antimalarial activity on Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine (CQ)-resistant (FcB1) and CQ-sensitive (HB3) strains. They were also tested for their inhibitory effects on a protein kinase (Pfnek) and their cytotoxicity on human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7) cells.
Among all extracts, four displayed strong in vitro activities against P. falciparum:
- Gardenia urvillei Montrouzier,
- Scleria polycarpa Boeckeler,
- Terminalia catappa L. and
- Acronychia laevis J.R. & J.G. Forster, the latter being also toxic on MCF7 cells.
Except for the extracts of S. polycarpa, all others that were active on P. falciparum, also possess an inhibitory effect on Pfnek.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:
These results confirm that ethnopharmacology is an excellent approach for such investigations. The two countries considered clearly present advantages in the field. Indeed, local populations keep their traditional knowledge alive, and their flora is exceptionally rich. In New Caledonia, the high endemicity rate (74%) ranks the island as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. As a consequence, chances to discover new active natural compounds are also high.