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Molecules 2014, 19(4), 4395-4408; doi:10.3390/molecules19044395

Pharmacological Evaluation of Total Alkaloids from Nux Vomica: Effect of Reducing Strychnine Contents

Engineering Center of State Ministry of Education for Standardization of Chinese Medicine Processing, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, China
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Received: 19 July 2013 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
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Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate the possibility of improving the therapeutic efficacy of the total alkaloid fraction (TAF) extracted from processed nux vomica by reducing the strychnine contents. Most strychnine was removed from TAF to obtain the modified total alkaloid fraction (MTAF). The toxicity and pharmacokinetics of TAF and MTAF were further investigated and compared besides their antitumor, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. The results showed that the ratios of brucine to strychnine were 1:2.05 and 2.2:1 for TAF and MTAF, respectively, and the toxicity of TAF was about 3.17-fold higher than that of MTAF. Compared to brucine alone, the elimination of brucine was found to be inhibited by other alkaloids in TAF or MTAF except strychnine. Significantly increased pharmacological activities when administered by the oral route were obtained with MTAF in comparison to TAF and nux vomica powder (NVP). In summary, MTAF might replace NVP and TAF in the clinical application of Chinese medicine to obtain much higher efficacy.
Keywords: Strychnos nux-vomica L.; total alkaloids; antitumor; analgesic; anti-inflammatory; oral administration; pharmacokinetics; acute toxicity Strychnos nux-vomica L.; total alkaloids; antitumor; analgesic; anti-inflammatory; oral administration; pharmacokinetics; acute toxicity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, J.; Qu, Y.; Wang, D.; Peng, P.; Cai, H.; Gao, Y.; Chen, Z.; Cai, B. Pharmacological Evaluation of Total Alkaloids from Nux Vomica: Effect of Reducing Strychnine Contents. Molecules 2014, 19, 4395-4408.

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