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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2003  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 249 - 253

Evaluation of the Biological Effects of a Natural Extract of Chayotte (Sechium edule): A Molecular and Cellular Analysis

G.F. Dire, E.A.C. Lima, M.L. Gomes, S. Moreno, M.V.C. Faria, R.L. Jales, M.T.J.A. Catanho and M. Bernardo Filho    

Abstract: Natural products have been widely used by human beings. However, sometimes the biological effects of these products are not fully known. It is concerned that many natural medicines may contain potentially toxic ingredients and contaminants such as heavy metals. Red blood cells (RBC) and plasma proteins labeled with technetium-99m (99mTc) have several clinical applications and it has been reported that some natural products are capable of reducing the efficiency of this radio labeling. The aim of this work was to assess the oxidant or antioxidant action of the agents presents in the extract of Sechium edule verifying its effects on the labeling of blood elements with 99mTc and on the inhibition of the activity of acetyl cholinesterase (AchE). A freshly extract of Sechium edule was administered to Wistar rats during 15 and 60 days. After that, samples (0.5ml) of blood were incubated with stannous chloride (SnCl2) and 99mTc. The blood was centrifuged and plasma (P) and RBC were isolated. P and RBC were also precipitated with trichloroacetic acid and soluble (S) and insoluble (I) fraction (F) were determined. The results have shown that the referred extract was able to reduce the radio labeling in BC to 15 days of treatment (from 98.77%± 0.45 to 90.35%± 5.04) to 60 days of treatment (from 98.77%± 0.45 to 53.53%± 0.91), in IF-BC (from 90.36%± 2.34 to 21.20%± 2.36) and in IF-P to 15 days of treatment (77.20%± 2.19 to 53.26%± 6.69) to 60 days of treatment (77.20%± 2.19 to 11.01%±3.22). The analysis of toxicology was performed by the determination of acetyl cholinesterase activity. In the light of the results the referred extract has not shown inhibitory action due to the activity of the enzyme. In the light of the results obtained we suggest that the referred extract may induce the generation of activity metabolites with oxidant properties with direct action on the labeling process.

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