Natural abundance carbon isotope composition of isoprene reflects incomplete coupling between isoprene synthesis and photosynthetic carbon flow. (1/32)

Isoprene emission from leaves is dynamically coupled to photosynthesis through the use of primary and recent photosynthate in the chloroplast. However, natural abundance carbon isotope composition (delta(13)C) measurements in myrtle (Myrtus communis), buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus), and velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) showed that only 72% to 91% of the variations in the delta(13)C values of fixed carbon were reflected in the delta(13)C values of concurrently emitted isoprene. The results indicated that 9% to 28% carbon was contributed from alternative, slow turnover, carbon source(s). This contribution increased when photosynthesis was inhibited by CO(2)-free air. The observed variations in the delta(13)C of isoprene under ambient and CO(2)-free air were consistent with contributions to isoprene synthesis in the chloroplast from pyruvate associated with cytosolic Glc metabolism. Irrespective of alternative carbon source(s), isoprene was depleted in (13)C relative to mean photosynthetically fixed carbon by 4 per thousand to 11 per thousand. Variable (13)C discrimination, its increase by partially inhibiting isoprene synthesis with fosmidomicin, and the associated accumulation of pyruvate suggested that the main isotopic discrimination step was the deoxyxylulose-5-phosphate synthase reaction.  (+info)

Allelopathy in the natural and agricultural ecosystems and isolation of potent allelochemicals from Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) and Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa). (2/32)

We have studied on allelopathy of plants and developed methods to identify the effective substances in root exudates, leaf leacheate, and volatile chemicals emitted from plants. We found traditional cover plants that show allelopathic activity are useful for weed control. It could eliminate the use of synthetic chemicals for this purpose. Allelopathy is a natural power of plants to protect themselves by producing natural organic chemicals. Some endemic plants in Asia, already known by farmers in the region, as either cover crops used in intercropping, hedgerow, or agroforestry, were found to possess strong allelopathic abilities. Our group identified several allelochemicals from these plants. These allelopathic cover crops, mostly leguminous plants, provide protein rich food, and grow easily without artificial fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. In this regards, these allelopathic cover crops could save food shortage in rural area, and are useful for environmental conservation. Screenings of allelopathic plants by specific bioassays and field tests have been conducted. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) and Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) are two promising species for the practical application of allelopathy. An amino acid, L-DOPA, unusual in plants, plays an important role as allelochemical in Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens). Hairy vetch is the most promising cover plant for the weed control in orchard, vegetable and rice production and even for landscape amendment in abandoned field in Japan. We have isolated "cyanamide", a well known nitrogen fertilizer, from Hairy vetch. This is the first finding of naturally produced cyanamide in the world.  (+info)

Reduced allelopathic inhibition of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) growth caused by velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) under 3D-clinorotation. (3/32)

Allelopathy between Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean) and Lactuca sativa (lettuce) was studied under 3D-clinorotation. Growth of both roots and shoots of lettuce seedlings was suppressed by the presence of velvet bean. The degree of suppression was less on the clinostat compared to the normal static earth gravity. L-DOPA (L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) is known to be a major substance in allelopathy of velvet bean. Amount of L-DOPA diffused out from a sintered filter paper into agar medium was compared between clinorotation and control group, and found no significant difference. It was concluded that some factors related to release, transport, and sensing phenomena of allelopathic substances may be responsible to the new findings in this study.  (+info)

Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson's disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study. (4/32)

BACKGROUND: The seed powder of the leguminous plant, Mucuna pruriens has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for diseases including parkinsonism. We have assessed the clinical effects and levodopa (L-dopa) pharmacokinetics following two different doses of mucuna preparation and compared them with standard L-dopa/carbidopa (LD/CD). METHODS: Eight Parkinson's disease patients with a short duration L-dopa response and on period dyskinesias completed a randomised, controlled, double blind crossover trial. Patients were challenged with single doses of 200/50 mg LD/CD, and 15 and 30 g of mucuna preparation in randomised order at weekly intervals. L-dopa pharmacokinetics were determined, and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and tapping speed were obtained at baseline and repeatedly during the 4 h following drug ingestion. Dyskinesias were assessed using modified AIMS and Goetz scales. RESULTS: Compared with standard LD/CD, the 30 g mucuna preparation led to a considerably faster onset of effect (34.6 v 68.5 min; p = 0.021), reflected in shorter latencies to peak L-dopa plasma concentrations. Mean on time was 21.9% (37 min) longer with 30 g mucuna than with LD/CD (p = 0.021); peak L-dopa plasma concentrations were 110% higher and the area under the plasma concentration v time curve (area under curve) was 165.3% larger (p = 0.012). No significant differences in dyskinesias or tolerability occurred. CONCLUSIONS: The rapid onset of action and longer on time without concomitant increase in dyskinesias on mucuna seed powder formulation suggest that this natural source of L-dopa might possess advantages over conventional L-dopa preparations in the long term management of PD. Assessment of long term efficacy and tolerability in a randomised, controlled study is warranted.  (+info)

Optical resolution by preferential crystallization of (1RS,3RS)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6,7-dihydroxy-1-methyl-3-isoquinolinecarboxylic acid. (5/32)

The racemic structure of (1RS,3RS)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6,7-dihydroxy-1-methyl-3-isoquinolinecarboxylic acid [(1RS,3RS)-1] was examined based on the melting point, solubility, and IR spectrum, with the aim of optical resolution by preferential crystallization. (1RS,3RS)-1 was indicated from these results to exist as a conglomerate. The successive optical resolution by preferential crystallization of (1RS,3RS)-1 yielded (1S,3S)- and (1R,3R)-1 with optical purities of 85--95% at 66--81% degrees of resolution, which were fully purified by recrystallization.  (+info)

Psychophysical and physiological evidence for parallel afferent pathways mediating the sensation of itch. (6/32)

The neuronal pathways for itch have been characterized mainly based on responses to histamine. Intracutaneous application of histamine produces intense itch and a large area of axon-reflexive vasodilation ("flare") around the application site. Both phenomena are thought to be mediated through neuronal activity in itch-specific, mechanoinsensitive C-fiber afferents (CMi). However, mechanical and electrical stimuli that do not activate CMi fibers can cause the sensation of itch, and itch may occur without flare, suggesting that other neuronal itch pathways exist. Because cutaneous application of spicules from the plant Mucuna pruriens (cowhage) has been anecdotally reported to produce itch without flare, we performed psychophysical experiments to investigate whether the mechanisms underlying cowhage- and histamine-induced itch differ. Although histamine and cowhage produced itch of similar magnitude, the itch to cowhage was not correlated with the itch to histamine; some subjects had intense itch to cowhage and little itch to histamine and visa versa. Laser Doppler measurements of blood flow revealed that histamine led to a large area of vasodilation, whereas cowhage produced vasodilation restricted to the application site. Pretreatment of the skin with an antihistamine blocked the itch produced by histamine but did not prevent cowhage-induced itch. Desensitization of the skin with topical capsaicin abolished cowhage-induced itch but did not significantly alter histamine-induced itch. These findings indicate that cowhage itch is signaled through a population of capsaicin-sensitive afferent nerve fibers that is distinct from CMi fibers mediating histamine-induced itch. Cowhage may be useful to investigate the neural pathway mediating nonhistaminergic itch.  (+info)

Estimation of L-dopa from Mucuna pruriens LINN and formulations containing M. pruriens by HPTLC method. (7/32)

A selective, precise, and accurate high-performance thin-layer chromatographic (HPTLC) method has been developed for the analysis of L-dopa in Mucuna pruriens seed extract and its formulations. The method involves densitometric evaluation of L-dopa after resolving it by HPTLC on silica gel plates with n-butanol-acetic acid-water (4.0+1.0+1.0, v/v) as the mobile phase. Densitometric analysis of L-dopa was carried out in the absorbance mode at 280 nm. The relationship between the concentration of L-dopa and corresponding peak areas was found to be linear in the range of 100 to 1200 ng/spot. The method was validated for precision (inter and intraday), repeatability, and accuracy. Mean recovery was 100.30%. The relative standard deviation (RSD) values of the precision were found to be in the range 0.64-1.52%. In conclusion, the proposed TLC method was found to be precise, specific and accurate and can be used for identification and quantitative determination of L-dopa in herbal extract and its formulations.  (+info)

Cowhage-evoked itch is mediated by a novel cysteine protease: a ligand of protease-activated receptors. (8/32)