Chemical and biological properties of spirostachys venenifera pax methanol extract
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Earlier research on the toxicity of spirostachys venenifera pax showed that the plant caused massive thymic necronis, in addition to necrotic changes in other organs with rapidly multiplying cells. Since the thymus is important in the immune response, one aim of the research reported in this thesis was to reestablish whether the thymic damage observed was accompanied by a corresponding immunosuppression. The second aim was to establish whealther spirostachys venenifera pax was capable of killing neoplastic cells since it caused necrosis of tissues with rapidly multiplying cells. The third aim was to isolate and if possible characterize the active ingredient of spirostachys venenifera pax. Rats injected with the methanol extract of spirostachys venenifera pax produced a lower concentration of antibodies against bovine serum antigen compared with control rats injected with physiological saline. Both the sindle radical( mancini) immunodiffussion and the double diffusion (ouchterlony) techniques were used. There was a definite immunosuppression. Lymphocytic Leukemia p 388 cells were transplanted into mice. The tumour cells established themselves in the mice exposed to the methanol extract of spirostachys Venenifera pax but not in the control mice. It was concluded that exposure to the extract actually facilitated the establishment of neoplastic disease in the host. This was due to the immunosuppressive activity of the extract. Two chemicals; chemical B with an Rf value of 61.7 and chemical G with an Rf value of 58.9 were isolated in pure, homogeneous form from the crude methanol extract.