Active compounds from Impatiens balsamina

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>> Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Impatiens balsamina plants (balsam, LIB) have been widely used as traditional medicine for the treatment of aches, superficial infection, fingernail inflammation, isthmus, fractures etc. Moreover in some areas of China, people take this plant as a vegetable or anti-cancer herb, although there are currently no reports confirming the efficacy of this practice. Researcher from china (Zhi-Shan Ding et. al. , molecules, 2008, 13, 220-229) have reported the in vitro anti-tumor activity of LIB against human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line(HepG2).

As a preliminary study, they have used the Petroleum ether fraction (PEF), chloroform fraction (CHF), chloroform extract (CHE), ethyl acetate fraction (EAF), n-butanol (BUF) and water (WAF) of LIB leaves. MTT assays showed that only PEF, CHF and CHE showed some activity and were choosen for further study. But because of limited sample availability of PEF and CHF, only CHE was further studied. CHE was separate into 6 different fractions CHE1-6. Among them, CHE2 showed the most significant inhibitory activity. CHE2 showed strong cell inhibition effect as compared to curcumin too.

Purification was done for CHE2 to isolate the single active compound and found to be 2-methoxy-1, 4-naphthoquinone (MNQ).  To reconfirm the anti-tumor activity of the final compound, it was tested for Hep62 inhibition ration and compared with CHE, CHE2 fractions and curcumin. The results confirmed that the MNQ has the highest activity followed by CHE2 fraction (as it contains MNQ).

Many studies has revealed that MNQ also has notable antimicrobial and antifungal activity.

For experimental sections please refer to the article mentioned above.


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