Clinical Studies

Abstracts are presented below for clinical studies on Sensitive Plant.

  • Botanical Name: Mimosa pudica

  • Ayurvedic Name: Lajjulu

  • Common Name: Sensitive Plant

Mimosa pudica

Plant Phytonutrient Profile

1: J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jan 30; [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of aqueous extracts of medicinal plants on MNNG-treated rat hepatocytes
in primary cultures.

Khader M, Eckl PM, Bresgen N.

Division of Genetics, Department of Cell Biology, University of Salzburg,
Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria.

Aqueous extracts of Nigella sativa (Ranunculaceae) (Ns), Teucrium polium
(Labiatae) (Tp) and Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fabaceae) (Tf) have been
traditionally used to treat inflammations, liver disorders, and arthritis.
Experimentally, it has been demonstrated that these herbs possess antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties. To evaluate their in vitro
toxicological properties and potential antimutagenic effects aqueous extracts of
the three plants were tested in primary rat hepatocyte cultures against
N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. The extracts were applied before, during
and after application of MNNG to discriminate between different mechanisms of
action. Tp itself significantly increased apoptosis, but in the combined
treatment with MNNG significantly reduced it. Post-treatment with Ns or combined
treatment with Tf significantly reduced the percentages of necrotic cells. The
three plant extracts themselves significantly increased the frequency of
chromosomal aberrations. Summarizing, our results suggest that aqueous extracts
of the three herbs have neither cytoprotective nor antimutagenic activity,
instead there is evidence for a mutagenic potential.

PMID: 17324542 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

2: Phytomedicine. 2007 Feb 7; [Epub ahead of print]

Effect of thymoquinone and Nigella sativa seeds oil on lipid peroxidation level
during global cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat hippocampus.

Hosseinzadeh H, Parvardeh S, Asl MN, Sadeghnia HR, Ziaee T.

Pharmaceutical Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of
Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 1365-91775, Mashhad, I.R. Iran.

It has been previously reported that Nigella sativa oil (NSO) and thymoquinone
(TQ), active constituent of N. sativa seeds oil, may prevent oxidative injury in
various models. Therefore, we considered the possible effect of TQ and NSO on
lipid peroxidation level following cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in
rat hippocampus. Male NMRI rats were divided into nine groups, namely, sham,
control, ischemia and ischemia treated with NSO or TQ. TQ (2.5, 5 and 10mg/kg),
NSO (0.048, 0.192 and 0.384mg/kg), phenytoin (50mg/kg, as positive control) and
saline (10ml/kg, as negative control) were injected intraperitoneally
immediately after reperfusion and the administration was continued every 24h for
72h after induction of ischemia. The transient global cerebral ischemia was
induced using four-vessel-occlusion method for 20min. Lipid peroxidation level
in hippocampus portion was measured as malondialdehyde (MDA) based on its
reaction with thiobarbituric acid (TBA) following ischemic insult. The transient
global cerebral ischemia induced a significant increase in TBA reactive
substances (TBARS) level (p<0.001), in comparison with sham-operated animal.
Pretreatment with TQ and NSO were resulted a significant decrease in MDA level
as compared with ischemic group (66.9+/-1.5 vs. 297+/-2.5nmol/g tissue for TQ,
10mg/kg; p<0.001 and 153.5+/-1.3nmol/g tissue for NSO, 0.384mg/kg; p<0.001).
Using a reversed-phase HPLC system, the amount of TQ in NSO was also quantified
and was 0.58% w/w. These results suggest that TQ and NSO may have protective
effects on lipid peroxidation process during IRI in rat hippocampus.

PMID: 17291733 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

3: Ann Saudi Med. 2001 May-Jul;21(3-4):242-4.

Effect of Nigella sativa (Black Seed) and thymoquinone on blood glucose in
albino rats.

Hawsawi ZA, Ali BA, Bamosa AO.

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam,
Saudi Arabia.

PMID: 17264566 [PubMed - in process]

4: Phytother Res. 2007 Jan 18; [Epub ahead of print]

Thymoquinone supplementation attenuates hypertension and renal damage in nitric
oxide deficient hypertensive rats.

Khattab MM, Nagi MN.

Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, P.O. Box
2457, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The present study was undertaken to evaluate the protective effect of
thymoquinone (TQ), the main constituent of the volatile oil from Nigella sativa
seeds, in rats after chronic inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis with
N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl esters (l-NAME). Rats were divided randomly
into different treatment groups: control, l-NAME, TQ and l-NAME + TQ.
Hypertension was induced by 4 weeks administration of l-NAME (50 mg/kg/day
p.o.). TQ was administered alone or in combination with l-NAME and continued for
4 weeks. The animals were killed, and the serum and kidney tissues were isolated
for the determination of creatinine and glutathione (GSH), respectively. Rats
receiving l-NAME showed a progressive increase in systolic blood pressure
compared with control rats. Concomitant treatment with TQ (0.5 and 1 mg/kg/day
p.o.) reduced the increase in systolic blood pressure induced by l-NAME in a
dose dependent manner. Kidney injury was demonstrated by a significant increase
in serum creatinine and a decrease in GSH in kidney tissue from l-NAME treated
rats. Treatment of rats with TQ decreased the elevated creatinine and increased
GSH to normal levels. TQ inhibited the in vitro production of superoxide radical
in enzymatic and non-enzymatic systems. In conclusion, TQ is effective in
protecting rats against l-NAME-induced hypertension and renal damage possibly
via antioxidant activity. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 17236176 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

5: J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(2):31-41.

The use of medicinal herbs by diabetic Jordanian patients.

Otoom SA, Al-Safi SA, Kerem ZK, Alkofahi A.

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science
and Technology, Irbid-Jordan. [email protected]

Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disorder worldwide. To date,
there have been no reports on the frequency of use of herb medicines in the
managements of diabetes mellitus in Jordan. This cross-sectional study was
conducted by interviewing 310 diabetic patients visiting two medical centers in
Jordan: Jordan University of Science & Technology Medical Center and Sarih
Medical Center between December 2003 and August 2004. It is found that 31% of
interviewed patients have used herbal products (96 patients). The results
revealed that the most commonly used herbs by diabetic patients in Jordan were
Trigonella foenumgraecum (22.9%), Lupinus albus (14.6%), Allium sativum (11.5%),
Allium cepa (5.2%), Nigella sativa (7.3%), Zea mays L. (6.3%), Urtica dioica L.
(8.3%), Eucalyptus globules LA (9.4%), Olea europea L. (3.1%), Cumminum cyminum
(9.4%), Coriandrum sativum (10.4%), Salvia officinalis L. (3.1%), and Tilia
cordata (1%). Furthermore, it is found that 47.9% of the patients used herbs
according to advice from their friends on a daily basis. The side effects were
reported by 36.5% of the patients and include headache, nausea, dizziness,
itching, palpitation, and sweating. Among the patients, 72.9% used the herbs as
adjunctive therapy along with their anti-diabetic drugs and 80.2% of the
patients informed their physicians about their use. A 79.2% of the sample
confirmed their intention to re-use these herbs as 86.5% of them were satisfied
with their diabetes control. There was a significant relationship between the
use of herbs, the patient's place of residence and his/her level of education.
The main conclusion of this survey is that the use of medicinal herbs among
diabetic patient in Jordan is common. Therefore, it is essential to increase the
level of awareness among diabetic patients and health care providers regarding
the efficacy and toxicity of these medicinal herbs.

PMID: 17182483 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

6: J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Mar 1;110(1):105-17. Epub 2006 Sep 23.

Ethnopharmacological survey of plants used in the traditional treatment of
hypertension and diabetes in south-eastern Morocco (Errachidia province).

Tahraoui A, El-Hilaly J, Israili ZH, Lyoussi B.

UFR Physiology-Pharmacology, Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of
Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Dhar El Mehraz, USMBA, BP 1976 Atlas Fez, Morocco.

This survey was undertaken in the Errachidia province in south-eastern Morocco
in order to inventory the main medicinal plants used in folk medicine to treat
arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Four hundred individuals who knew
about and/or had used the medicinal plants for the indicated diseases, including
some herbal healers, were interviewed throughout different regions of the
province. The inventory of medicinal plants is summarized in a synoptic table,
which contains the scientific, vernacular and common name of the plant, its
ecological distribution, the part of the plant and the preparation used and the
therapeutic indication. Extensive investigations have brought to light 64
medicinal plants belonging to 33 families; of these, 45 are used for diabetes,
36 for hypertension, and 18 for both diseases. Of these plants, 34% grow in the
wild, 44% are cultivated, and 22% are not indigenous to the area and are brought
from other parts of Morocco or from outside the country. The survey shows that
78% of the patients regularly use these medicinal plants. In this region, the
most frequently used plants to treat diabetes include Ajuga iva, Allium cepa,
Artemisia herba-alba, Carum carvi, Lepidium sativum, Nigella sativa, Olea
europaea, Peganum harmala, Phoenix dactylifera, Rosmarinus officinalis, and
Zygophyllum gaetulum, and those to treat hypertension include Ajuga iva, Allium
cepa, Allium sativum, Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Carum carvi, Nigella sativa,
Olea europea, Rosmarinus officinalis, Origanum majorana, Peganum harmala, and
Phoenix dactylifera. The local people recognize the toxic plants and are very
careful in using such plants, which are Citrullus colocynthis, Datura
stramonium, Nerium oleander, Nigella sativa, Peganum harmala and Zygophyllum
gaetulum. Our survey shows that traditional medicine in the south-eastern
Moroccan population has not only survived but has thrived in the transcultural
environment and intermixture of many ethnic traditions and beliefs.

PMID: 17052873 [PubMed - in process]

7: Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Jan;45(1):88-92. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Anticlastogenic activity of thymoquinone against benzo(a)pyrene in mice.

Badary OA, Abd-Ellah MF, El-Mahdy MA, Salama SA, Hamada FM.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Helwan
University, Helwan, Cairo, Egypt. [email protected]

Thymoquione (TQ), the main constituent of the volatile oil of Nigella sativa
seeds, has been shown to protect mice against benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P]-induced
forestomach carcinogenesis. The present investigation was undertaken to study
the possible chemopreventive activity of TQ, supplemented in the drinking water,
against B(a)P-induced chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in mouse bone marrow cells.
Male Swiss albino mice received TQ (0.01% in drinking water) daily for 28 days.
The daily dose of TQ was estimated to be 10mg/kg based on the calculated average
daily water consumption by mice. From day 9, the carcinogen, B(a)P, was given by
gastric intubation at dose level of 50mg/kg on alternative days for a total of 8
doses. On day 29, all mice were transferred to a normal drinking tap water.
Control groups received corn oil vehicle, TQ alone or B(a)P alone. All mice were
sacrificed at 12 weeks after the end of the treatment. Chromosome preparations
were made of bone marrow. Cytogenetic end points screened were the frequencies
of CAs and damaged cells induced. Daily intake of TQ after and before or during
exposure to B(a)P significantly reduced the frequencies of CAs and damaged cells
compared to the highly clastogenic activity of B(a)P alone.

PMID: 17011106 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

8: Indian J Exp Biol. 2006 Sep;44(9):745-8.

Biochemical effects of Nigella sativa L seeds in diabetic rats.

Kaleem M, Kirmani D, Asif M, Ahmed Q, Bano B.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University,

Oral administration of ethanol extract of N. sativa seeds (300 mg/kg body
weight/day) to streptozotocin induced diabetic rats for 30 days significantly
reduced the elevated levels of blood glucose, lipids, plasma insulin and
improved altered levels of lipid peroxidation products (TBARS and
hydroperoxides) and antioxidant enzymes like catalase, superoxide dismutase,
reduced glutathione and glutathione peroxidase in liver and kidney. The results
confirm the antidiabetic activity of N. sativa seeds extract and suggest that
because of its antioxidant effects its administration may be useful in
controlling the diabetic complications in experimental diabetic rats.

Publication Types:
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 16999030 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

9: Phytother Res. 2006 Oct;20(10):869-71.

Effects of thymoquinone (volatile oil of black cumin) on rheumatoid arthritis in
rat models.

Tekeoglu I, Dogan A, Demiralp L.

Yuzuncu Yil University, Medical School, Department of Rehabilitation and
Rheumatology, Maras cad. 65100, Van, Turkey. [email protected]

Many studies have been carried out in recent years on the pharmacological
effects of nigella sativa seeds that have uncovered their antiinflammatory and
immunological effects. The objective of this study was to explore the
antiinflammatory effects of thymoquinone on arthritis in rat models. Rats with
arthritis induced by Freund's incomplete adjuvant were assigned into five
groups: group 1: controls 0.9% NaCl (n = 7); group 2: 2.5 mg/kg thymoquinone (n
= 7); group 3: 5 mg/kg thymoquinone (n = 7); group 4: Bacilli Chalmette Guerin
(BCG) 6 x 10(5) CFU (n = 7); group 5: methotrexate 0.3 mg/kg (n = 7). Signs of
inflammation on the claw and radiological signs were searched for and TNF-alpha
and IL-1beta were measured. The results of control and other groups were
compared. As a result, thymoquinone, confirmed clinically and radiologically,
suppressed adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons,

PMID: 16835876 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

10: Biomed Sci Instrum. 2006;42:350-6.

Comparison of potential chemotherapeutic agents, 5-fluoruracil, green tea, and
thymoquinone on colon cancer cells.

Norwood AA, Tan M, May M, Tucci M, Benghuzzi H.

School of Health Related Professions, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, Mississippi 39216, USA.

Antioxidants have been found to be quite successful in deterring certain disease
processes for years, especially cancer. Antioxidants protect the body by
neutralizing the free radicals and donating one of their own electrons, thus
ending the scavenger reaction. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most
abundant catechin found in green tea, is a valuable scavenger of reactive oxygen
species in vitro as well as in vivo. Thymoquinone (TQ), a major active component
of black seed (Nigella sativa), is also known for its powerful scavenger
abilities as an inhibitor of oxidative stress and has been utilized in the
Middle East for centuries for healing properties. These two potent antioxidants
when compared to the chemotherapeutic drug of choice, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU),
have demonstrated incredible chemotherapeutic responses to the SW-626 cell line.
The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the effects of SW-626
colon cancer cells after a 24, 48, and 72 hour incubation periods with low,
medium, and high doses of EGCG, TQ, and 5-FU. Cell viability, cell number,
cellular morphology, and cellular metabolism were compared for the control and
treatment groups. The results of this study evidenced a similar significant
decrease in cell number as early as 24 hours in the groups treated with TQ and
EGCG compared to 5-FU. Increases in cellular damage were evident after 24, 48,
and 72 hours and in all treated groups compared with the control. Reduced cell
numbers in the treated groups suggests the possibility that TQ and EGCG may have
similar chemotherapeutic effects on cancer cells as 5-FU.

Publication Types:
Comparative Study

PMID: 16817633 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

11: Immunol Lett. 2006 Jul 15;106(1):72-81. Epub 2006 May 22.

Effect of thymoquinone on cyclooxygenase expression and prostaglandin production
in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation.

El Mezayen R, El Gazzar M, Nicolls MR, Marecki JC, Dreskin SC, Nomiyama H.

Department of Medicine, University of Colorado, Health Sciences Center, Denver,
80262, USA.

Prostaglandins (PGs) are potent proinflammatory mediators generated through
arachidonic acid metabolism by cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 (COX-1 and COX-2) in
response to different stimuli and play an important role in modulating the
inflammatory responses in a number of conditions, including allergic airway
inflammation. Thymoquinone (TQ) is the main active constituent of the volatile
oil extract of Nigella sativa seeds and has been reported to have
anti-inflammatory properties. We examined the effect of TQ on the in vivo
production of PGs and lung inflammation in a mouse model of allergic airway
inflammation. Mice sensitized and challenged through the airways with ovalbumin
(OVA) exhibited a significant increase in PGD2 and PGE2 production in the
airways. The inflammatory response was characterized by an increase in the
inflammatory cell numbers and Th2 cytokine levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage
(BAL) fluid, lung airway eosinophilia and goblet cell hyperplasia, as well as
the induction of COX-2 protein expression in the lung. Intraperitoneal injection
of TQ for 5 days before the first OVA challenge attenuated airway inflammation
as demonstrated by the significant decrease in Th2 cytokines, lung eosinophilia,
and goblet cell hyperplasia. This attenuation of airway inflammation was
concomitant to the inhibition of COX-2 protein expression and PGD2 production.
However, TQ had a slight inhibitory effect on COX-1 expression and PGE2
production. These findings suggest that TQ has an anti-inflammatory effect
during the allergic response in the lung through the inhibition of PGD2
synthesis and Th2-driven immune response.

Publication Types:
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

PMID: 16762422 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

12: Biol Trace Elem Res. 2006 May;110(2):151-62.

Effect of black cumin (Nigella sativa) on heart rate, some hematological values,
and pancreatic beta-cell damage in cadmium-treated rats.

Demir H, Kanter M, Coskun O, Uz YH, Koc A, Yildiz A.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Art and Science, Yuzuncu Yil University,
Van, Turkey.

This study was designed to investigate the effect of Nigella sativa (NS) on the
heart rate, some hematological values, and pancreatic beta-cell damage in
cadmium (Cd)-treated rats. The rats were randomly grouped into one of three
experimental groups: Control, Cd treated, and Cd + NS treated. Each group
contained 10 animals. The Cd-treated and Cd + NS-treated groups were injected
subcutaneously daily with CdCl2 dissolved in isotonic NaCl in the amount of 2
mL/kg for 30 d, resulting in a dosage of 0.49 mg Cd/kg/d. The control group was
injected with only isotonic NaCl (2 mL/kg/d) throughout the experiment (for 30
d). Three days prior to administration of CdCl2, the Cd + NS-treated group
received the daily intraperitoneal (ip) injection of 2 mL/kg NS until the end of
the study; animals in all three groups were fasted for 12 h and blood samples
were taken for the determination of the glucose and insulin levels, red blood
cell (RBC) and white blood cell (WBC) counts, packet cell volume (PCV), and
hemoglobin (Hb) concentration. The heart rates of rats were also measured by a
direct writing electrocardiograph before the blood withdrawals. It was found
that NS treatment increased the lowered insulin levels, RBC and WBC counts, PCV,
and neutrophil percentage in Cd-treated rats. However, the WBC count of
Cd-treated rats with NS treatment was still lower than those of control values.
NS treatment also decreased the elevated heart rate and glucose concentration of
Cd-treated rats. Pancreatic tissues were also harvested from the sacrificed
animals for morphological and immunohistochemical examinations. Cd exposure
alone caused a degeneration, necrosis, and weak degranulation in the beta-cells
of the pancreatic islets. In Cd + NS-treated rats, increased staining of insulin
and preservation of islet cells were apparent. It is concluded that NS treatment
might decrease the Cd-treated disturbances on heart rate, some hematological
values, and pancreatic beta-cell.

PMID: 16757843 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

13: Egypt J Immunol. 2005;12(1):95-102.

Effect of dexamethasone and Nigella sativa on peripheral blood eosinophil count,
IgG1 and IgG2a, cytokine profiles and lung inflammation in murine model of
allergic asthma.

Abbas AT, Abdel-Aziz MM, Zalata KR, Abd Al-Galel Tel-D.

Biotechnology Research Unit, Gastro-enterology Center, Faculty of Medicine,
Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.

It has been reported that Nigella sativa oil possesses anti-inflammatory and
bronchodilator activities. Besides, non - toxic and wide margin of safety for
therapeutic doses compared with Dexamethasone. This work aims to study the
effect of Nigella sativa and Dexamethason on different immune and inflammatory
parameters in a mouse model of allergic asthma. Mice sensitized
intraperitoneally and challenged intratracheally with conalbumin were treated
with Nigella sativa 24 hours after the first intratracheal challenge.
Dexamethasone treated and naive mice served as controls. The effect of Nigella
sativa and Dexamethasone treatment on peripheral blood eosinophil count, IgG1
and IgG2a, cytokine profiles and lung inflammation were evaluated. Nigella
sativa was significantly reduced peripheral blood eosinophil count, IgG1 and
IgG2a levels, cytokine profiles and inflammatory cells in lung tissue. These
effects were equivalent to the effects of Dexamethasone except unchanged IFN-y
level. Nigella sativa exhibits anti-airway inflammation and immunoregulatory
effect which may be useful for treatment of allergic asthma.

PMID: 16734144 [PubMed - in process]

14: J Carcinog. 2006 May 9;5:11.

A long-term investigation of the anti-hepatocarcinogenic potential of an
indigenous medicine comprised of Nigella sativa, Hemidesmus indicus and Smilax

Iddamaldeniya SS, Thabrew MI, Wickramasinghe SM, Ratnatunge N, Thammitiyagodage

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sri
Jayawardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka. [email protected]

BACKGROUND: A decoction comprised of Nigella sativa seeds, Hemidesmus indicus
root bark and Smilax glabra rhizome is being recommended for cancer patients by
a family of traditional medical practitioners of Sri Lanka. Previous
investigations have demonstrated that a short term (10 weeks) treatment with the
decoction can significantly inhibit diethylnitrosamine (DEN) mediated expression
of Glutathione S-transferase P form (GST-P) in rat liver. The objective of the
present investigation was to determine whether long term (16 months) treatment
with the decoction would be successful in inhibiting in rat livers, not only
DEN- mediated expression of GST-P, but also the carcinogen mediated development
of overt tumours (OT) or histopathological changes leading to tumour development
(HT). METHODS: Thirty-six male Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups of 12
each. Groups 1 and 2 were injected intraperitoneally (i.p) with DEN (200 mg/kg)
while group 3 was injected normal saline (NS). Twenty-four hours later,
decoction (DC; 6 g/kg body weight/day) was orally administered to group 1 rats,
while groups 2 and 3 (DEN-control and normal control) were given distilled water
(DW). Treatment with DC or DW continued for 16 months. At the end of the 9th
month and 16th months (study 1 and study 2 respectively), six rats from each
group were sacrificed, and livers observed for OT or HT, both visually and by
subjecting liver sections to staining with Haemotoxylin and Eosin (H & E),
Sweet's Silver stain (for reticulin fibers), Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS) staining
(for glycogen), and immunohistochemical staining (for GST-P). RESULTS: At the
end of 9 months (study 1) a hepatocellular adenoma (HA) developed in one of the
rats in the DEN + DW treated group (group 2). At the end of 16 months (study 2),
livers of all rats of group 2 developed OT and HT. Large areas of GST-P positive
foci were also observed. No OT, HT or GST-P positive foci were detected in any
of the other groups. CONCLUSION: Protection against DEN-mediated carcinogenic
changes in rat liver can be achieved by long term treatment with the DC
comprised of N. sativa seeds, S. glabra rhizome and H. indicus root bark.

PMID: 16684351 [PubMed]

15: Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jun 16;344(4):1200-6. Epub 2006 May 2.

Effect of herbal melanin on IL-8: a possible role of Toll-like receptor 4

El-Obeid A, Hassib A, Ponten F, Westermark B.

Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University
Hospital, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. [email protected]

The production of IL-8 can be induced by LPS via TLR4 signaling pathway. In this
study, we tested the effect of a herbal melanin (HM) extract, from black cumin
seeds (Nigella sativa L.), on IL-8 production. We used HM and LPS in parallel to
induce IL-8 production by THP-I, PBMCs, and TLR4-transfected HEK293 cells. Both
HM and LPS induced IL-8 mRNA expression and protein production in THP-1 and
PBMCs. On applying similar treatment to HEK293 cells that express TLR4, MD2, and
CD14, both HM and LPS significantly induced IL-8 protein production. We have
also demonstrated that HM and LPS had identical effects in terms of IL-8
stimulation by HEK293 transfected with either TLR4 or MD2-CD14. Melanin
extracted from N. sativa L. mimics the action of LPS in the induction of IL-8 by
PBMC and the other used cell lines. Our results suggest that HM may share a
signaling pathway with LPS that involves TLR4.

Publication Types:
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 16650380 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

16: Phytomedicine. 2006 May;13(5):324-33. Epub 2005 Sep 19.

Herbal melanin modulates tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin 6
(IL-6) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production.

El-Obeid A, Al-Harbi S, Al-Jomah N, Hassib A.

Biological Repository Center, Department of Molecular Pathology, King Faisal
Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Recent studies have indicated that cytokines can enhance immunogenicity and
promote tumor regression. However, the means for modulating cytokine production
are not yet fully investigated. In this study we report the effects of a herbal
melanin, extracted from Nigella sativa L., on the production of three cytokines
[tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and vascular
endothelial growth factor (VEGF)], by human monocytes, total peripheral blood
mononuclear cells (PBMC) and THP-1 cell line. Cells were treated with variable
concentrations of melanin and the expression of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and VEGF mRNA in
cell lysates and secretion of proteins in the supernatants were detected by
RT-PCR and ELISA. Melanin induced TNF-alpha, IL-6 and VEGF mRNA expression by
the monocytes, PBMC and THP-1 cell line. On the protein level, melanin
significantly induced TNF-alpha and IL-6 protein production and inhibited VEGF
production by monocytes and PBMC. In the THP-1 cell line melanin induced
production of all three cytokine proteins. These observations raise the
prospects of using N. sativa L. melanin for treatment of diseases associated
with imbalanced cytokine production and for enhancing cancer and other

Publication Types:
Comparative Study

PMID: 16635740 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

17: Hum Exp Toxicol. 2006 Mar;25(3):127-33.

Neuroprotective effects of Nigella sativa on experimental spinal cord injury in

Kanter M, Coskun O, Kalayci M, Buyukbas S, Cagavi F.

Department of Histology-Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Trakya University,
Edirne, Turkey. [email protected]

The aim of this study was to investigate the possible beneficial effects of
Nigella sativa (NS) in comparison to methylprednisolone on experimental spinal
cord injury (SCI) in rats. SCI was performed by placing an aneurysm clip
extradurally at the level of T11-12. Rats were neurologically tested over 24 h
after trauma and spinal cord tissue samples were harvested for both biochemical
and histopathological evaluation. The neurological scores of rats were not found
to be different in SCI groups. SCI significantly increased the spinal cord
tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl (PC) levels, however SCI
decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and
catalase (CAT) enzyme activities compared to the control. Methylprednisolone and
NS treatment decreased tissue MDA and PC levels and prevented inhibition of SOD,
GSH-Px and CAT enzymes in the tissues. The most significant results were
obtained when NS was given. In SCI and placebo groups, the neurons of spinal
cord tissue became extensively dark and degenerated with picnotic nuclei. The
morphology of neurons in methylprednisolone and NS-treated groups were well
protected, however, not as well as the neurons of the control group. The number
of neurons in the spinal cord tissue of the SCI and placebo groups was
significantly less than the control, laminectomy, methylprednisolone and
NS-treated groups. In conclusion, NS treatment might be beneficial in spinal
cord tissue damage, and therefore shows potential for clinical implications.

PMID: 16634331 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

18: Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Jul;1760(7):1088-95. Epub 2006 Mar 31.

Downregulation of leukotriene biosynthesis by thymoquinone attenuates airway
inflammation in a mouse model of allergic asthma.

El Gazzar M, El Mezayen R, Nicolls MR, Marecki JC, Dreskin SC.

Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 E.
Ninth Avenue, Denver, CO 80262, USA. [email protected]

Chronic airway inflammation is a key feature of bronchial asthma. Leukotrienes
are potent inflammatory mediators that play a role in the pathophysiology of
asthma, and their levels are elevated in the airways in response to allergen
challenge. We examined the anti-inflammatory effect of thymoquinone (TQ), the
active principle in the volatile oil of Nigella sativa seeds, on leukotriene
(LT) biosynthesis in a mouse model of allergic asthma. Mice sensitized and
challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) antigen had an increased amounts of leukotriene
B4 and C4, Th2 cytokines, and eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid.
In addition, there was also a marked increase in lung tissue eosinophilia and
goblet cell numbers. Administration of TQ before OVA challenge inhibited
5-lipoxygenase, the main enzyme in leukotriene biosynthesis, expression by lung
cells and significantly reduced the levels of LTB4 and LTC4. This was
accompanied by a marked decrease in Th2 cytokines and BAL fluid and lung tissue
eosinophilia, all of which are characteristics of airway inflammation. These
results demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effect of TQ in experimental asthma.

Publication Types:
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

PMID: 16624488 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

19: Yakugaku Zasshi. 2006 Apr;126(4):301-5.

Effects of essential oil extracted from Nigella sativa (L.) seeds and its main
components on human neutrophil elastase activity.

Kacem R, Meraihi Z.

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Ferhat Abbas University,
Setif, Algeria. [email protected]

The effects of essential oil extracted from Nigella sativa (L.) seeds and its
main components on human neutrophil elastase (HNE) activity were investigated.
Essential oil was extracted from N. sativa (L.) seeds using hydrodistillation.
The yield was equal to 0.4%. Inhibition of HNE activity by essential oil was
found to be dose dependent. The highest inhibitory concentration (HIC) of
essential oil which caused total inhibition of HNE activity was 5.8 mg/ml.
Microassays carried out to evaluate the inhibitory effect of major components of
essential oil on HNE activity revealed that carvacrol
(5-isopropyl-2-methylphenol) showed marked HNE inhibitory activity with a very
low IC(50) value (12 microM). Based on these results, the inhibitory effects of
essential oil on HNE activity are due to the presence of bioactive molecules,
mainly carvacrol this compound is an inhibitor of HNE and could be considered as
a natural antielastase agent and possible candidate for phytotherapy in the
treatment of injuries that appear in some pathologic cases such as chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema.

Publication Types:
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 16596021 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

20: World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Nov 14;11(42):6684-8.

Hepatoprotective effects of Nigella sativa L and Urtica dioica L on lipid
peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme systems and liver enzymes in carbon
tetrachloride-treated rats.

Kanter M, Coskun O, Budancamanak M.

Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Trakya University,
Edirne, Turkey. [email protected]

AIM: To investigate the effects of Nigella sativa L (NS) and Urtica dioica L
(UD) on lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme systems and liver enzymes in
CCl(4)-treated rats. METHODS: Fifty-six healthy male Wistar albino rats were
used in this study. The rats were randomly allotted into one of the four
experimental groups: A (CCl(4)-only treated), B (CCl(4)+UD treated), C
(CCl(4)+NS treated) and D (CCl(4)+UD+NS treated), each containing 14 animals.
All groups received CCl(4) (0.8 mL/kg of body weight, sc, twice a week for 60
d). In addition, B, C and D groups also received daily i.p. injections of 0.2
mL/kg NS or/and 2 mL/kg UD oils for 60 d. Group A, on the other hand, received
only 2 mL/kg normal saline solution for 60 d. Blood samples for the biochemical
analysis were taken by cardiac puncture from randomly chosen-seven rats in each
treatment group at beginning and on the 60th d of the experiment. RESULTS: The
CCl(4) treatment for 60 d increased the lipid peroxidation and liver enzymes,
and also decreased the antioxidant enzyme levels. NS or UD treatment (alone or
combination) for 60 d decreased the elevated lipid peroxidation and liver enzyme
levels and also increased the reduced antioxidant enzyme levels. The weight of
rats decreased in group A, and increased in groups B, C and D. CONCLUSION: NS
and UD decrease the lipid per-oxidation and liver enzymes, and increase the
anti-oxidant defense system activity in the CCl4-treated rats.

PMID: 16425366 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]