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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 333: WOCMAP I - Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Conference: part 1 of 4

SOME DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SEARCH FOR CYTOTOXIC CONSTITUENTS FROM RWANDESE MEDICINAL PLANTS

Author:   J. Mungarulire
Keywords:   Vernonia thomsoniana, V.pogosperma, V.karaguensis, Tithonia diversifolia, Gutenbergia cordifolia, Tagitinin C, Gutenbergin, Idomain, Cytotoxic
Abstract:
In the course of our investigation on plant species of the Compositeae used in rwandese traditional medicine, we have isolated several substances which possessed significant cytotoxic activity against leukaemia cell-lines. The majority of the active principles were composed of new highly oxygenated sesquiterpene lactones obtained from chloroform extracts of the plants'leaves. However, it was possible to isolate a new steroidal sapogenin from one of the studied Vernonia species. This was a cytotoxic principle found to possess a unique lateral chain compared to other products previously isolated from the genus.

The results we have gathered so far indicate that apart from the triterpenes which characterize the Vernonia specimens found to be devoid of sesquiterpenes, those plants may contain steroidal constituents which could be of both chemical and biological interest.

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