Viper and cobra venom neutralization by beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol isolated from the root extract of Pluchea indica Less. (Asteraceae).
We reported previously that the methanolic root extract of the Indian medicinal plant Pluchea indica Less. (Asteraceae) could neutralize viper venom-induced action [Alam, M.I., Auddy, B., Gomes, A., 1996. Viper venom neutralization by Indian medicinal plant (Hemidesmus indicus and P. indica) root extracts. Phytother. Res. 10, 58-61]. The present study reports the neutralization of viper and cobra venom by beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol isolated from the root extract of P. indica Less. (Asteraceae). The active fraction (containing the major compound beta-sitosterol and the minor compound stigmasterol) was isolated and purified by silica gel column chromatography and the structure was determined using spectroscopic analysis (EIMS, (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR). Anti-snake venom activity was studied in experimental animals. The active fraction was found to significantly neutralize viper venom-induced lethal, hemorrhagic, defibrinogenation, edema and PLA(2) activity. Cobra venom-induced lethality, cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity, respiratory changes and PLA(2) activity were also antagonized by the active component. It potentiated commercial snake venom antiserum action against venom-induced lethality in male albino mice. The active fraction could antagonize venom-induced changes in lipid peroxidation and superoxide dismutase activity. This study suggests that beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol may play an important role, along with antiserum, in neutralizing snake venom-induced actions.DOI: