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IJEB Vol.48(03) [March 2010] >


Title: Arjunolic acid: A novel phytomedicine with multifunctional therapeutic applications
Authors: Hemalatha, Thiagarajan
Pulavendran, Sivasami
Balachandran, Chidambaram
Manohar, Bhakthavatsalam Murali
Puvanakrishnan, Rengarajulu
Keywords: Antioxidant
Arjunolic acid
Cardioprotectant
Free radical scavenger
Terminalia arjuna
Issue Date: Mar-2010
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Herbal plants with antioxidant activities are widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for cardiac and other problems. Arjunolic acid is one such novel phytomedicine with multifunctional therapeutic applications. It is a triterpenoid saponin, isolated earlier from Terminalia arjuna and later from Combretum nelsonii, Leandra chaeton etc. Arjunolic acid is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger. The scientific basis for the use of arjunolic acid as cardiotonic in Ayurvedic medicine is proven by its vibrant functions such as prevention of myocardial necrosis, platelet aggregation and coagulation and lowering of blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels. Its antioxidant property combined with metal chelating property protects organs from metal and drug induced toxicity. It also plays an effective role in exerting protection against both type I and type II diabetes and also ameliorates diabetic renal dysfunctions. Its therapeutic multifunctionality is shown by its wound healing, antimutagenic and antimicrobial activity. The mechanism of cytoprotection conferred by arjunolic acid can be explained by its property to reduce the oxidative stress by enhancing the antioxidant levels. Apart from its pathophysiological functions, it possesses dynamic insecticidal property and it is used as a structural molecular framework in supramolecular chemistry and nanoscience. Esters of arjunolic acid function as gelators of a wide variety of organic liquids. Experimental studies demonstrate the versatile effects of arjunolic acid, but still, further investigations are necessary to identify the functional groups responsible for its multivarious effects and to study the molecular mechanisms as well as the probable side effects/toxicity owing to its long-term use. Though the beneficial role of this triterpenoid has been assessed from various angles, a comprehensive review of its effects on biochemistry and organ pathophysiology is lacking and this forms the rationale of this review.
Page(s): 238-247
ISSN: 0975-1009 (Online); 0019-5189 (Print)
Source:IJEB Vol.48(03) [March 2010]

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