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Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(8), 5237-5275; doi:10.3390/md13085237

Are the Traditional Medical Uses of Muricidae Molluscs Substantiated by Their Pharmacological Properties and Bioactive Compounds?

1
Marine Ecology Research Centre, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, G.P.O. Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
2
School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, G.P.O. Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia
3
Southern Cross Plant Science, Southern Cross University, G.P.O. Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
4
Medical Biotechnology, Flinders University, G.P.O. Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia
5
Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Flinders University, G.P.O. Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia
6
School of Health Science, Southern Cross University, G.P.O. Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peer B. Jacobson
Received: 2 July 2015 / Revised: 27 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 18 August 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4107 KB, uploaded 18 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

Marine molluscs from the family Muricidae hold great potential for development as a source of therapeutically useful compounds. Traditionally known for the production of the ancient dye Tyrian purple, these molluscs also form the basis of some rare traditional medicines that have been used for thousands of years. Whilst these traditional and alternative medicines have not been chemically analysed or tested for efficacy in controlled clinical trials, a significant amount of independent research has documented the biological activity of extracts and compounds from these snails. In particular, Muricidae produce a suite of brominated indoles with anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and steroidogenic activity, as well as choline esters with muscle-relaxing and pain relieving properties. These compounds could explain some of the traditional uses in wound healing, stomach pain and menstrual problems. However, the principle source of bioactive compounds is from the hypobranchial gland, whilst the shell and operculum are the main source used in most traditional remedies. Thus further research is required to understand this discrepancy and to optimise a quality controlled natural medicine from Muricidae. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethnomedicine; marine natural products; whelk; indoles; choline esters ethnomedicine; marine natural products; whelk; indoles; choline esters
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Benkendorff, K.; Rudd, D.; Nongmaithem, B.D.; Liu, L.; Young, F.; Edwards, V.; Avila, C.; Abbott, C.A. Are the Traditional Medical Uses of Muricidae Molluscs Substantiated by Their Pharmacological Properties and Bioactive Compounds? Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 5237-5275.

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