Effects of "Chinese yam" on hepato-nephrotoxicity of acetaminophen in rats. (1/65)

AIM: To study the effect of yam in Taiwan, which is a commonly used Chinese medicine, on hepato-nephro-toxicity in rats. METHODS: Crude water extract of yam (Dioscorea alata L), was used to treat rats with an acute toxicity induced by acetaminophen (APAP) challenge. RESULTS: The pharmacological and biochemical studies showed the extract of yam had the effect of kidney secureness and liver fortification (P < 0.01). The pathologic sections showed good improvements in renal tubular degranulation changes, necrosis and disintegration. The extract of yam also possessed a good protection against the inflammation of central vein and necrosis of liver tissue. CONCLUSION: The liver and kidneys are originated from the same source. Pathologically, deficiency of the life essence in the kidney may lead to the blood deficiency in the liver. The results showed that the yam could prevent the damages of the liver and kidneys, thus preserving their functions. This could b e the reason why the yam was commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, as seen in Liuwei Dihuang Wan be used in the case of deficiency of liver-yin and kidney-yin.  (+info)

Antitumor-promoting constituents from Dioscorea bulbifera L. in JB6 mouse epidermal cells. (2/65)

An antitumor-promoting effect was found in the extracts/ingredients of a plant used as a traditional medicine in mainland China, using the neoplastic transformation assay of mouse epidermal JB6 cell lines. The ethyl acetate soluble fraction of 75% ethanol extract of the rhizomes of Dioscorea bulbifera L. showed an inhibitory effect against the tumor promotion of JB6 (Cl 22 and Cl 41) cells induced by a promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Further investigation on the constituents of the EtOAc fraction from the rhizomes revealed the chemical structure to be kaempferol-3,5-dimethyl ether (1), caryatin (2), (+)-catechin (3), myricetin (4), quercetin-3-O-galactopyranoside (5), myricetin-3-O-galactopyranoside (6), myricetin-3-O-glucopyranoside (7) and diosbulbin B (8). Constituent antitumor-promoting activities were also examined in the same way. Compounds 1-7, characterized as flavonoids with the two hydroxyl groups at C-7 and C-4', showed the most potent inhibitory effect, but there seemed to be differences in the inhibitory effect between flavonol aglycones and flavonol glycosides. Compared with (-)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin exhibited much stronger inhibitory activity which suggested that chemical stereo structures of compounds affect the efficiency of inhibition. Compound 8 showed moderate activity. The constituents with antitumor-promoting activity from this plant are reported for the first time.  (+info)

Plant chitinase as a possible biocontrol agent for use instead of chemical fungicides. (3/65)

We investigated whether a plant chitinase can be used as a biocontrol agent instead of chemical fungicides by spraying chitinase E (family 19; class IV) from a yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb) alone or together with beta-1,3-glucanase directly onto the surface of a powdery mildew infecting strawberry berries and leaves. Results were observed by eye and with a scanning electron microscope. The powdery mildew infecting the strawberries was degraded, mainly by the chitinase, and the disease did not appear again for more than 2 weeks. These results indicated that this kind of plant chitinase might be safe and biodegradable biocontrol agent for use instead of conventional fungicides.  (+info)

Tuber storage proteins. (4/65)

A wide range of plants are grown for their edible tubers, but five species together account for almost 90 % of the total world production. These are potato (Solanum tuberosum), cassava (Manihot esculenta), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatus), yams (Dioscorea spp.) and taro (Colocasia, Cyrtosperma and Xanthosoma spp.). All of these, except cassava, contain groups of storage proteins, but these differ in the biological properties and evolutionary relationships. Thus, patatin from potato exhibits activity as an acylhydrolase and esterase, sporamin from sweet potato is an inhibitor of trypsin, and dioscorin from yam is a carbonic anhydrase. Both sporamin and dioscorin also exhibit antioxidant and radical scavenging activity. Taro differs from the other three crops in that it contains two major types of storage protein: a trypsin inhibitor related to sporamin and a mannose-binding lectin. These characteristics indicate that tuber storage proteins have evolved independently in different species, which contrasts with the highly conserved families of storage proteins present in seeds. Furthermore, all exhibit biological activities which could contribute to resistance to pests, pathogens or abiotic stresses, indicating that they may have dual roles in the tubers.  (+info)

Anti-obesity effect of Dioscorea nipponica Makino with lipase-inhibitory activity in rodents. (5/65)

In the process of screening for pancreatic lipase inhibitors, which could be used as an anti-obesity measure, the methanol extract of Dioscorea nipponica Makino powder (DP) appeared to have potent inhibitory activity against porcine pancreatic lipase with an IC50 value of 5-10 microg/ml, where the enzyme activity was assayed by using 4-methylumbelliferyl oleate as a substrate. Further purification of active components present in the herb generated dioscin that belongs to the saponin family. Dioscin and its aglycone, diosgenin, both suppressed the time-dependent increase of blood triacylglycerol level when orally injected with corn oil to mice, suggesting their inhibitory potential against fat absorption. Sprague-Dawley rats fed on a high-fat diet containing 5% Dioscorea nipponica Makino and 40% beef tallow gained significantly less body weight and adipose tissue than control animals fed on a high-fat diet alone during an 8-week experimental period (P<0.05).  (+info)

Two new pregnane glycosides from Dioscorea futschauensis R. KUNTH. (6/65)

Two new pregnane glycosides (1, 2) together with two known saponins were isolated from the rhizomes of Dioscorea futschauensis R. KUNTH. The structures of 1 and 2 were established as 16alpha-methoxyl-3beta-[(O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1-->2)-O-[alpha-L-rhamnopyran osyl-(1-->4)]-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy]pregn-5-en-20-one and 21-methoxyl-3beta-[(O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1-->2)-O-[alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl- (1-->4)]-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy]pregn-5,16-en-20-one, respectively, on the basis of two-dimension NMR (2D NMR) and other spectral analysis. Their in vitro bioactivity against plant pathogenic fungus Pyricularia oryzae and osteoblastic proliferation stimulatory activity in the UMR106 cell line were evaluated.  (+info)

Characterization of the yam tuber storage proteins from Dioscorea batatas exhibiting unique lectin activities. (7/65)

Four major proteins designated DB1, DB2, DB3, and DB4 were isolated and characterized from the yam tuber Dioscorea batatas. The ratios of their yields were 20:50:20:10. DB1 was a mannose-binding lectin (20 kDa) consisting of 10-kDa subunits and was classified as the monocot mannose-binding lectin family. DB2, accounting for 50% of the total protein, was the storage protein, commonly called dioscorins consisting of a 31-kDa subunit. On the basis of amino acid sequence, DB2 was classified to be dioscorin A. DB3 was a maltose-binding lectin, having an apparent molecular mass of 120 kDa and composed of a 66-kDa subunit and two 31-kDa subunits (DB3S). The 66-kDa subunit was further composed of two 31-kDa subunits (DB3L) cross-linked by disulfide bonds. DB3L and DB3S (242 and 241 amino acid residues, respectively) were homologous with each other with 72% sequence identity. They showed a sequence homology to dioscorin B and dioscorin A from Dioscorea alata, with 90 and 93% identity, respectively, and to carbonic anhydrase from Arabidopsis thaliana with about 45% identity. DB3S had one intrachain disulfide bond located at Cys(28)-Cys(187), whereas DB3L had one interchain disulfide bond (Cys(40)-Cys(40)') in addition to the intrachain disulfide bond (Cys(28)-Cys(188)) to form a 66-kDa subunit. DB1 and DB3 agglutinated rabbit erythrocytes at 2.7 and 3.9 microg/ml, respectively. Despite the structural homology between DB2 and DB3, DB2 had no lectin activity. The 66-kDa subunit itself revealed the full hemagglutinating activity of DB3, indicating that DB3L but not DB3S was responsible for the activity. The hemagglutinating activity of DB3 required Ca(2+) ions and was exclusively inhibited by maltose and oligomaltoses (e.g. maltopentaose and maltohexaose) but not by d-glucose. DB3 could not be classified into any known plant lectin family. DB4 was a chitinase, homologous to an acidic chitinase from Dioscorea japonica. DB1, DB2, and DB3 did not show any activity of carbonic anhydrase, amylase, or trypsin inhibitor activity. These results show that two of the four major proteins isolated from the yam tubers D. batatas have unique lectin activities.  (+info)

Antiosteoporotic activity of the water extract of Dioscorea spongiosa. (8/65)

After 60 MeOH and water extracts of natural crude drugs were screened for their ability to stimulate osteoblast proliferation, four MeOH extracts (Cynomorium songaricum, Drynaria fortunei, Lycium chinense, Rehmannia glutinosa) and seven water extracts (Cornus officinalis, Dendrobium nobile, Dioscorea spongiosa, Drynaria fortunei, Eucommia ulmoides, Lycium chinensis, Viscum coloratum) showed that potent activities were evaluated for inhibition of osteoclast formation. The results indicated that the water extract of D. spongiosa not only showed the strongest stimulation of osteoblast proliferation but also possessed potent inhibitory activity aganist osteoclast formation, whereas it showed lower cytotoxicity in osteoblast and bone marrow cells. A further in vivo experiment determined the antiosteoporotic activity of this extract, in which it inhibited the decrease in cancellous bone mineral content, cancellous bone mineral density, and cortical bone mineral content of the proximal tibia in ovariectomized rats.  (+info)