Research at UAF - Gemmo Modification Of Indigenous Medicinal Plants And Their Comparison With Native Plants As Cardioprotective, Antioxidant And Antiatherogenic Agents
Principal Investigator: Dr. Khalil-ur-Rahman, Associate Prifessor Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UAF
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. M. Zahoor-ul-Hassan Dogar Principal, Sargodha Medical College, Sargodha
Duration: 3 Years
Cost: 14, 95,320
Funding Agency: Higher Education Commission, Islamabad

Progress Reports

Gemmotherapy is a therapeutic method, where plant bud extracts and other young tissues freshly harvested from the live growing plants are used. Gemmotherapy plays a unique and important role in many detoxification processes. Various diseases can occur when the dislodged bio-energetic toxins are not drained from the body, due to lack of an effective elimination process. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the number one cause of death through out the world. Number of factors is involved in the causation and progression of this disease.

DPPH scavenging activity of different extracts

Conditions predisposing to atherosclerosis, such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking are associated with increased vascular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cardiac diseases have become a global problem. It is the number one cause of death through out the world. It is still the highest killer in the USA. Number of factors is involved in the causation and progression of this disease. Phytoconstituents of many of the native and gemmomodified medicinal plants were determined and correlation of polyphenolics was established with their bioactivities in terms of antioxidant, antimicrobial, cardioprotective and immunomodulatory potential.  
b. Problem statement:
Heart disease may begin with the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, leads to the formation of plaque in the arteries, the process is atherosclerosis. If an artery becomes clogged with plaque, the result can be a heart attack or a stroke. Much of the damage that occurs in both heart attacks and strokes is caused by reperfusion injury, with burst of superoxide free radicals that flow in as the blood flow resumes. Any one pathy can never claim to possess a complete treatment of cardiac disorders. On the other hand medicinal plants have a great medicinal potential and a treatment of choice of about 70% population. In this project the comparative evaluation of cardioprotective potential of some native and gemmotherapeutically treated some medicinal plants will be examined 
c. Objectives:

  1. To evaluate the best source of plant for control of heart disease.
  2. To determine the effects of natural plants therapy on various biochemical and serological parameter.
  3. To investigate the role of gemmo manipulation of plants suitable for cardiac disorders.

Fresh plants procured from local market and Botanical garden of UAF were got identified. In addition to determination of phytoconstituents, proximate analysis, the cardioprotective, antioxidant, anti atherogenic and immunomodulatory properties of both native and gemmomodified medicinal plants were evaluated through standard procedures.
e. Results and Discussion
Many of the medicinal plants were screened for phytochemical constituents. Alkaloids, Glycosides and flavonides were found in high concentrations in many of the plants, while steroids and tannins were in less quantity in general. Proximate analysis of Gemmo and Native Medicinal plants was also performed. As for as mineral profile is concerned, Avena Sativa have maximum amount of calcium and sodium whereas cyperus rotundus have maximum amount of potassium and Magnasium was found maximum in cassia fistula among the studied plants. Many plants have been evaluated for antioxidant potential through various assays. The analysis of one plant Terminalia arjun as an example is given below.

ABTS scavenging activity of different extracts


Immunomodulatory potential of some medicinal plants has also been performed. The results were harvested in the form of Humoral Antibody Titer and Phagocytosis assay. The findings of some plants as Humoral Antibody titer is given in the Figure.
Cardioprotective potential of medicinal plants have been evaluated against chemically induced myocardial infraction in different experiment groups. The parameters which were observed are CK-MB, LDH, SGOT and SGPT etc. Cardiac troponin is specific to the myocardium and its level to study the extreme conditions of cardial efficiency was conducted through standard kits.
Lead Chelation Potential of some Medicinal Plants was also observed. Chemical and Biochemical analysis before and after experimentation of Pb chelation with medicinal plants were also performed. The significant changes in some cases after treatment with medicinal plants were observed. Antimicobial potential of medicinal plant have been evaluated through disc diffusion assay against wide spectrum of pathogenic microorganisms and many plants showed very encouraging results.

Cardioprotective effect of Terminalia Arjun Extract on Antioxidant Enzymes in Different Experimental Groups was another interesting finding.

Conclusions: Both native and gemmo modified plants as a single or in combination therapy have certain cardioprotective potential. More studies are needed to explore further untapped potential on the indigenous plants.

Recommendations: Project is ongoing so the recommendations will be given at the end of the project.