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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Isolation of opioid-active compounds from Tabernaemontana pachysiphon leaves.

A procedure for prefractionation of crude plant extracts by centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) has been developed to enable rapid identification of known-positive compounds or false-positive compounds and to increase the chance of identifying minor unknown-active compounds. The study explored the use of CPC as a tool in the prefractionation step before investigation of bioactivity. Fractions obtained by CPC from an ethanolic extract of Tabernaemontana pachysiphon Stapf (Apocynaceae) were screened by means of an opiate-receptor-binding assay and an adenosine A1-receptor-binding assay. Fractions containing fatty acids, which had false-positive effects on the assay, were identified, as were unknown-positive fractions from which two opioid-active compounds, tubotaiwine and apparicine, were subsequently isolated. The affinities (Ki) of tubotaiwine and apparicine at the opiate receptor were 1.65 +/- 0.81 and 2.65 +/- 1.56 micromol, respectively. Both alkaloids had analgesic activity in the abdominal constriction test in mice. CPC prefractionation led to the rapid isolation of two opioid-active compounds, tubotaiwine and apparicine, from the unknown-positive fraction; false-positive fractions were rapidly identified. Both tubotaiwine and apparicine had affinity for adenosine receptors in the micromolar range and also had in-vivo analgesic activity in mice.[1]


  1. Isolation of opioid-active compounds from Tabernaemontana pachysiphon leaves. Ingkaninan, K., Ijzerman, A.P., Taesotikult, T., Verpoorte, R. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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