THE TRADITIONAL MEDICAL USES OF SOME EGYPTIAN PLANTS AND THEIR
CYTOTOXIC ACTIVITY-YIELDED IN ACTIVE CARDIAC GLYCOSIDES
Hesham R. El-Seedi, Robert Burmana, Ahmed Mansourc, Ulf Göranssona
Division of Pharmacognosy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Uppsala University, Biomedical
Centre, Box 574, 75123, Uppsala, Sweden
The search for new anti-cancer drugs is one of the most prominent areas of research in the study of
natural products. In this work, we have documented the traditional uses and investigated the
anticancer activity of 70 species from 31 families of Egyptian medicinal plants. Most of the plants
were collected from Sinai desert, in collaboration with Bedouin herbalists. The uses of medicinal
plants have been reported through strong community networks of people participate in the process of
healing. The interviews based on oral tradition through several generations. Comparison of traditional medicine with
knowledge in a large context also discussed briefly. Extracts of the plants were tested in an in vitro cytotoxicity screen
using a human histiocytic lymphoma cell-line, U937-GTB. The most potent extracts were those from Asclepias sinaica, Urginea maritima, Adenium obesum,Nerium oleander and Catharanthus roseus, followed by those of highly active
from Cichorium endivia, Pulicaria undulate and Melia azedarach. Several of these plants seem to produce cardiac
glycosides as displayed from literature. During investigation of the active principle of U. maritima, bioassay guided
fractionation of alcoholic extract leds to isolation of bioactive bufadienolide. The compound was identified as
proscillaridin A 1.
Also one of the most active extract was Adenium obesum. Bioassay-guided fractionation of steam extract leads to
isolation of one novel compound. It was identified as cardiac glycoside named oleandrigenin β-D-glucosyl-2'-Ohydroxy- β-D-thevetoside (2'-O-hydroxy-obebioside B) 2.
Details structure elucidation using intensive spectroscopic tools of UV, 1D and 2D NMR in details, including TOCSY,
HSQC-DEPT, and HMBC, and MS investigations as well as biological activity using against human histiocytic
lymphoma cell-line, U937-GTB will be discussed.