Sch 71450

Is Cassytha filiformis L. holding some potential as a source of drugs for the treatment of Parkinson's disease?

Cryptocarya griffithiana Wight is a tree that grows to a height of 20 m in the lowland rainforests of Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The stems are stout and covered with a rusty tomentum. The leaves are simple, spiral, exstipulate, leathery, elliptic, and up to 32 cm long. The fruits are globose, glossy, and green (Fig. 76). The bark of this plant has the reputation among Malays and Indonesians of being poisonous.

The pharmacological potential of this tree is unexplored. Note that Cryptocarya species are very interesting, as they have the tendency to elaborate a series of stilbenes derivatives known as a-pyrones (112,113). The neuropharmacological potential of such

Fig. 76. Cryptocarya griffithiana. Distributed by The Botanic Gardens, Singapore, Malay Peninsula. Geographical localization: Kayu River, East Johor, low altitude. 3/9/1937. Det. M.H. Henderson, FSP Ng.

compounds would probably be worth assessment because a-pyrones are known for their anxiolytic properties. Examples of such agents are kavapyrones from a Piperaceae, Piper methysticum Forst. (kava, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1934) or kava-kava, the rhizomes of which have been used since early times by Polynesians to allay anxiety. Kava is commercially available for relaxation. Baum et al. observed that a small dose of kava extract (120 mg/kg intraperitoneal per killogram of body weight) caused changes in the normal behavior of rats and increased concentrations of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (114). In addition, Matsumoto et al. recently suggested the possible involvement of cortical GABA neuronal mechanisms in the regional differences of dopamine response to psychological stress, and found that GABAergic neuronal system in the prefrontal cortex plays a key role in the regional differences of the dopa-minergic response to psychological stress (115). Are a-pyrones dopaminergic via GABAergic modulation?

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