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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Tivadar Kiss, Lilla Mácsai, Dezső Csupor and Zsolt László Datki

The group of diterpene alkaloids contains numerous compounds with complex chemistry and diverse pharmacological activities. Beside toxicity, these compounds possess activity on the cardiovascular system, tumor cell lines and nervous system. The pharmacological properties have been described using in vitro and in vivo techniques; however, the bioactivities of many compounds have not thoroughly been studied. Here we report on the in vivo evaluation of ten diterpene alkaloids using bdelloid rotifer assays. Napelline exerted toxic effects on rotifers, while wide tolerance range was observed for other investigated compounds. Weak toxicity of songorine is supported by our experiment. Toxicological data for senbusine A, senbusine C, septentrioidine and hetisinone are reported for the first time.

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Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) seeds are increasingly applied for medicinal purposes, especially due to their antimicrobial and immunostimulant features, to treat or prevent common cold. However, the scientific background of these uses has not been established. To date, only in vitro studies support the antimicrobial effect of the seeds, and there are no data on the systemic antibiotic or other clinical effects. Moreover, recent data refer to the adulteration of grapefruit seed products with synthetic antiseptics which may be an explanation for the antimicrobial efficacy of some formulations. The aim of our study was to develop a simple thin-layer chromatography- based method for the quality control of grapefruit seed extracts. Besides the analytical procedure, we report a quick and simple method for the isolation of limonoids from grapefruit seeds. Limonoids are characteristic compounds of the seeds; hence, the detection of these marker compounds may be the basis of grapefruit identification. Further, a thin-layer chromatographic screening for synthetic antiseptics (quaternary ammonium salts) is also part of the quality control procedure.

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