July 8, 2020

Download scientific diagram | – Cnidoscolus quercifolius plant. from publication: Análise Química e Bromatológica da Forragem da Faveleira (Cnidoscolus. PDF | Objective: To evaluate the chemical components of active extract from Cnidoscolus quercifolius root bark and its cytotoxic potential. The Cnidoscolus quercifolius (Pohl) popularly known as “favela” or “faveleira” is a forager that is part of the native species from the caatinga.

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To receive news and publication updates for Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, enter your email address in the box below. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The caatingaan exclusively Brazilian biome, is one of the most endangered vegetation systems in the planet.

To be exploited rationally, its potential needs to be scientifically demonstrated. Among these is the faveleiraused in northeastern Brazil.

Cnidoscolus quercifolius

It stands out for its extraordinary drought resistance and medicinal properties. The objective of this study was to assess the therapeutic potential of compounds extracted from Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl in preventing disease and its rational use as a herbal therapeutic tool.

The methodology began with the collection and herborization of the plant material, to obtain the chemical compounds, preliminary phytochemical analysis, and quercifoilus of the constituents of the active extracts. To determine the biological activities the authors conducted investigation of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, inhibition capacity of the acetylcholinesterase enzyme, and initial assessment of toxicity of the extracts.

The results demonstrated great potential as an antimicrobial agent, an important antioxidant capacity, and acetylcholinesterase inhibition response with no significant difference compared with the reference drug. The authors expect to develop a new herbal product, resulting in lower production costs and that, consequently, could be commercialized in more accessible form to the population, highlighting the risk reduction of contraindication of this category of medications.

The importance of medicinal plants in solving the health problems of the world is gaining more and more attention. Due to this increased interest, research on plants of medicinal importance is growing phenomenally at the international level. Moreover, a growing number of people are seeking traditional medicine for their primary health care. Man has long been using plants to promote health, in the belief that they carry beneficial substances for a healthy existence.

Currently, this practice constitutes an amount of internalized knowledge shared among multiple users or in more traditional communities [ 1 ]. In Brazil, the first Europeans who settled in the land ran across a large quantity of medicinal plants used by the indigenous populations who lived here.

It was the start of a series of cultural intermixes that blended the knowledge brought in by the colonizers, the slaves, and the natives. Today, according to Amorozo [ 2 ], the introduction of modern medicine offers another option for health practices in traditional communities that use popular medicine.

In many cases, the procedures of modern medicine and popular medicine are supplemental and constitute an effective form of primary health care, which may supplement the treatment usually employed in the lower income population.

The World Health Organization WHO has recognized and recommended the dissemination of traditional knowledge and use of phytotherapic medicines. This document aims to ensure secure access to phytotherapic remedies, considering traditional knowledge on medicinal plants, as well as promote research and encourage the development of technology and innovation, stimulating the use of medicinal plants in different stages of the production chain, ultimately fostering the sustainable use of biodiversity.

The United States and Germany rank among the biggest consumers of natural products from Brazil. Spreading across an area of approximately thousand square km, the caatinga, an exclusively Brazilian biome, is also one of the most endangered areas in the planet.

Despite this unique condition, there was not enough incentive to direct local preservation botanical studies [ 8 ]. Several authors call attention to the direct dependency on this environmental resource by the populations living out of extractivist activities within the biome [ 910 ].

The semiarid region of the Brazilian Northeast is known for hosting a number of native species that are under systematic exploitation in recent years, without any sustainable management, which ultimately causes the extinction of some species, thus unleashing a rural exodus.

Thus, the therapeutic potential of native plants must be scientifically demonstrated, so that it can be exploited in a rational and orderly manner [ 1112 ].

It is widely used as fodder for cattle and small ruminants, mainly in the dry periods. It is a rustic plant of rapid growth, belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family [ 13 ] and Cnidoscolus genus [ 14 ]. Its xerophile character allows the plant to grow and reproduce, even in periods of prolonged droughts, thus contributing to keep the balance of the ecosystem, mitigating environmental degradation.


According to Ribeiro and Brito [ 15 ], the faveleira can be used for forestation, recovery of degraded areas, animal and human consumption, medicine, timber, and energy. Most studies on the faveleira are targeted at its use in the agricultural and livestock fields, and very few studies of the species focus on the area of chemistry of natural products and biological activity.

For this reason, the present study focuses on the assessment of the therapeutic potential of this plant, by investigating its possible antioxidant, antimicrobial, and inhibitory activity of the acetylcholinesterase enzyme AChEas well as the toxicity of the methanolic extracts from three parts of Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl. The extracts were subjected to phytochemical screening, following the protocols described by Mattos [ 16 ].

Chemical tests were performed using specific reagents, observing color changes or formation of precipitate, characteristic for each class of substances. Tests were performed for the detection of phenols and tannins, anthocyanins and anthocyanidins, flavones, flavonols, xanthones, flavanones, chalcones and aurones, leucoanthocyanidins, catechins, steroids and triterpenoids, and saponins.

Screening of Bioactivities and Toxicity of Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl

The in vitro antioxidant activity of the extracts was determined using the 1,1-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl DPPH method, as previously reported by Brand-Williams et al. Different dilutions of the extracts 5— Disks containing Streptomycin 1. Then they performed a quercifollius dilution of 2, at 4. The determination of the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of Fungi MIC-f was obtained with a stereoscope, verifying the lower concentration of samples capable of inhibiting the growth of cnidoscilus microorganism, after 5 days of incubation.

TLC evaluated inhibition of acetylcholinesterase enzyme AChEin accordance with the methodology described by Ellman et al. The inhibition was indicated by the presence of white halos. The halos were measured and compared with the halo formed by physostigmine, a standard alkaloid. The lethality cnidoscokus against Artemia sp. With the aid of a light source, the hatched larvae were attracted to the lightened vessel part and were collected with a Pasteur pipette and then transferred to a beaker with saline water.

Assays were performed in triplicate, and the number of dead larvae quercifoliuw counted after 24 hours. Peixoto Sobrinho et al. In the analysis of the leaves of C. The extract from the bark quercifolus C. In qkercifolius bark of C. This study did not detect alkaloids in any of the C. However, other species of the genus Cnidoscolus showed the presence of dnidoscolus [ 28 — 30 ].

This difference in the presence and absence of certain chemical compounds of plant species may be related to factors such as age of the plant and the time of collection [ 31 ]. Moreover, other factors such as seasonality, circadian rhythm, development, climatic factors, water availability, ultraviolet radiation, nutrients, air pollution, and altitude may influence the composition cnidoscolua the secondary metabolites of plants [ 32 ].

Corroborating quercifolous, Kutchan [ 33 ] reports that the secondary metabolites have a direct relationship with plants and the environment in which they live; therefore, their synthesis is often affected by environmental conditions. Free radicals have their production controlled in living organisms by a number of endogenous antioxidants compounds or are derived from diet and supplements. Oxidative stress may occur when there is limitation in the availability of antioxidants.

Thus, when there is presence of active antioxidant compounds within these systems, they are capable of stabilizing or deactivate free radicals before they strike the cnidosclous targets in the cells cnidoscolua 34 ].

The excess of oxidative stress which leads to organic decay is mitigated or even prevented by antioxidants-based therapies. Thus, the antioxidant therapies used in a large number of illnesses related to the generation of free radicals, such as cancer, aging, atherosclerosis, ischemia, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases, seem to be promising [ 35 ]. After performing the test to evaluate the antioxidant potential of extracts of C.

These are samples of crude extracts and may therefore be considered a meaningful result, suggesting the need to isolate the compounds responsible for sequestering the free radicals, thus achieving an index even closer to the default. As far as we know, there are no data in the literature showing the antioxidant activity of samples of C.

Studies conducted by Almeida and Amorim [ 36 ] showed that the methanolic extract of the root of C. Hoffm cniidoscolus relevant antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in the species, suggesting that C. However, Conforti et al.

Studies have shown that plants used in traditional medicine have the effect of prevention and protection under conditions of oxidative stress [ 38 — 40 ]. The improvement of the conditions of oxidative stress by plants has been associated with phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and other polyphenols. These bioactive molecules exhibit a variety of biological effects, such as antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects, as a result of their antioxidant properties [ 41 ].


Table 2 shows the results of antimicrobial activity of methanolic extracts of C. By agar diffusion method, the LME and the RBME showed similar activity by inhibiting the growth of Enterococcus faeciumEnterococcus faecalisStaphylococcus epidermidisand Pseudomonas aeruginosawhile the RME inhibited only the strain cjidoscolus Staphylococcus epidermidis. There was no inhibitory response from the extracts tested against Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae strains, thus demonstrating that the methanolic extracts of faveleira showed better inhibition against strains of Gram-positive bacteria.

In performing the inhibition test of chidoscolus growth, cnidosclous was observed that the LME showed inhibition against Lasiodiplodia theobromae LF11, L. Antimicrobial assays against bacterial strains and fungi tested, using commercial drugs Chloramphenicol, Streptomycin, and Thiabendazole as a positive control, showed no growth of microorganisms.

The MIC was studied for bacterial strains that were sensitive to the methanolic extracts qquercifolius faveleira in the agar diffusion method Table 2. For Holetz et al. In the agar diffusion method, the extracts showed activity against strains of Staphylococcus and E.

In the present study, the methanolic extracts of the leaf, root, and root bark of C.

Almeida [ 43 ] performed an antimicrobial assay with strains of bacteria and fungi using hydroalcoholic extract of the leaves of C.

Ahmad and Beg [ 44 ] believe that the antimicrobial effect of vegetal extracts is largely due to the presence of flavonoids in their composition, thus corroborating the results found for the C. In a study conducted with the oil from the seeds and extract from the leaves of the faveleira, Ribeiro [ 45 ] found reduced mycelial growth and germination of conidia of F.

This is a different outcome from the findings of this study, for none of the methanolic extracts of the faveleira exhibited growth inhibition of fungi of the same family. The bioautography method employing Ellman reagent allows for the identification of compounds capable of inhibiting acetylcholinesterase AChE in extracts, which enables a fractionation targeted to the isolation of those compounds.

It is important to note that this method only assists in optimizing the selection and does not eliminate, under any circumstance, the in vivo tests [ 24 ]. All the methanolic extracts of the faveleira presented anticholinesterase activity. There was no statistically significant difference between the LME and RBME with the reference drug Eserinewhich represents a new source of bioactive compounds with potential as acetylcholinesterase inhibitor Figure 2.

The identification of these plants, through phytochemical and ethnopharmacological studies, provides the possibility of discovery and development of new drugs that could be relevant for the treatment of degenerative diseases of the nervous system, through the effect of AChE inhibition [ 4950 ].

One of the first AChE inhibitors used was physostigmine, an alkaloid isolated from a plant of the Leguminosae family, although this alkaloid is no longer used clinically, due to its short half-life. Despite the negative presence of alkaloids in the faveleira extracts tested, the plant presented satisfactory activity of enzyme inhibition, when compared with the reference cnidosfolus, raising the possibility that new untested substances may act on the inhibition of AChE.

The use of less complex animal organisms, as is the case of Artemia salinacan be done to evaluate the toxicity of bioactive compounds, quercicolius being a simple, fast, and low-cost test.

Several studies have shown the use of Artemia salina to evaluate the toxicity of extracts, of isolated and purified substances of medicinal plants [ 3151 — 54 ], thus decreasing the use of animals for experimentation. In the evaluation of toxicity of methanolic extracts of C. Souza [ 55 ] describes that the absence of toxicity can be an advantage for the possibility of using isolated substances in developing herbal medicines for use in humans.

In a test of toxicity against Artemia salinaconducted by Fabri et al. The present study, of crude methanolic extracts of Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl, has shown promising results in all tests performed.

Standing out among these auspicious outcomes are the antioxidant effects, the bactericidal and fungicidal potential, and the inhibitory effect against the acetylcholinesterase enzyme in two extracts tested, which showed no significant difference when compared with the reference drug.

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