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Anti-mycobacterial natural products from the Canadian medicinal plant Juniperus communis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22877928     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Common juniper, Juniperus communis, is amongst the plants most frequently used by the indigenous peoples of North America for medicinal purposes. The First Nations of the Canadian Maritimes use infusions of juniper primarily as a tonic and for the treatment of tuberculosis. Previous investigations of extracts derived from the aerial parts of J. communis have shown it to possess anti-mycobacterial activity. The aim of the study is to isolate and identify anti-mycobacterial constituents from the aerial parts of J. communis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Methanolic extracts of J. communis needles and branches were subjected to bioassay guided fractionation using the microplate resazurin assay (MRA) to assess inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain H37Ra. The anti-mycobacterial constituents were identified by NMR, MS and polarimetry. RESULTS: The diterpenes isocupressic acid and communic acid and the aryltetralin lignan deoxypodophyllotoxin were isolated from the J. communis extract. Isocupressic acid and communic acid (isolated as an inseparable 3:2 mixture of cis and trans isomers) displayed MICs of 78μM and 31μM and IC(50)s of 46μM and 15μM against M. tuberculosis H37Ra respectively. Deoxypodophyllotoxin was less active, with a MIC of 1004μM and an IC(50) of 287μM. CONCLUSIONS: Isocupressic acid, communic acid and deoxypodophyllotoxin were identified as the principal constituents responsible for the anti-mycobacterial activity of the aerial parts of J. communis. Although further research will be required to evaluate the relative activities of the two communic acid isomers, this work validates an ethnopharmacological use of this plant by Canadian First Nations and Native American communities.
Caitlyn D Carpenter; Taryn O'Neill; Nadia Picot; John A Johnson; Gilles A Robichaud; Duncan Webster; Christopher A Gray
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-8-1
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of ethnopharmacology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-7573     ISO Abbreviation:  J Ethnopharmacol     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7903310     Medline TA:  J Ethnopharmacol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada E2L 4L5.
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