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N V L Sirisha Mulukuri*1, Omkar singh2, Sukhdeb Baenerje2

1Karnataka College of Pharmacy, Bangalore,-500064, Karnataka, India.
2Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata-700032, West Bengal, India.


Evolvulus alsinoides (Shankhpushpi) is a reputed drug of Ayurveda and reported as a brain tonic, nervine tonic, and laxative. It has also been found effective in anxiety, neurosis, and memory invigorator and used in cerebral abnormalities, epilepsy, insomnia, burning sensation, oedema, urinary disorders, and snake-bites. So the literature survey revealed that it has numerous activities and chemically it contains Alkaloids, Terpenoids, Glycosides, Flavanoids, Steroidal compounds etc. Plant derived anticancer agents are widely used for the treatment of leukemia. The main objective of present work is to isolate and characterize the compounds from the leaf extract of Shankhpushpi and to investigate antileukemic activity against different cell lines. The shade dried leaves of Evolvolus alsinoides were first defatted with petroleum ether and then successively extracted with Petroleum-ether and chloroform at room temperature. Both the extracts were chromatographed over a column of silica gel and Graded elution was carried out with petroleum-ether, chloroform and methanol. Repeated chromatographic purification of the fractions led to isolation of four compounds which were designated as OS-1, OS-2, OS-3and OS-4 and were identified as β- sitosterol-3-O-glucoside, β-sitosterol, Ursolic and Kaempferol-3, 7-di-O-rhamnoside by comparing the spectral (IR, 1HNMR, 13C NMR) and HPLC data with the authentic samples reported in the literature. These were tested for their cytotoxicity against leukemic cell lines U937, K562 and HL60 using MTT assay. The data obtained suggest that OS-4 is more cytotoxic in nature followed by OS-3 over 24 hrs of treatment. Hence the antileukemic principle was identified from the Shankhpushpi plant.

Keywords: Antileukemic activity, Evolvulus alsinoides, MTT assay, shankapushpi.

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