The Andean species Buddleja coriacea has traditionally been used to relieve liver, prostate or diabetes problems, but it lacked clinical evidence. The research, in which the Autonomous University of Madrid participates, identifies three compounds behind these properties.

For the first time, research led by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) in which the Autonomous University of Madrid participates, identifies the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of kiswara ( Buddleja coriacea) , a species of tree native to Bolivia , in an animal model and Peru that has been traditionally used to relieve liver, prostate or diabetes problems, among others.

“Although traditional medicine talks about the beneficial properties of this plant species, there are no previous scientific studies that support these properties. In this sense, our study is the first report that confirms them”, points out Luís Apaza, researcher at the UCM Department of Chemistry in Pharmaceutical Sciences and at the UAM Department of Organic Chemistry.

The study, published in Natural Product Research , has isolated and characterized three compounds, which presented anti-inflammatory activity in vitro similar to an experimental anti-inflammatory drug. In addition, these compounds have shown a greater antiarthritic effect (5 mg/day) compared to drugs used in the treatment of adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis, such as leflunomide (20 mg/day).

The kiswara is an evergreen tree belonging to the Loganiaceae family, it measures between 4 and 6 meters in height and has permanent foliage. It is a species native to the Andean highlands of Bolivia and Peru, between 2,900 and 4,400 meters above sea level.

"The infusion of its leaves and flowers has traditionally been used to relieve liver problems, prostate problems, diabetes, cystitis, rheumatism, arthritis or gout," adds Apaza.

Open horizon to other chronic inflammations

To carry out the research, in which the Autonomous University of Madrid and the Bolivian clinical laboratory ProntoLab have also participated, the researchers prepared the extracts and isolated the compounds.

Subsequently, their cytotoxicity and anti-inflammatory activity were studied in vitro (cell cultures) and at the end preclinical studies (murine model) were carried out, which confirmed the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities of the extract and of the isolated compounds.

“The isolation of these compounds opens the way for the synthesis of a library of compounds with greater anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity, taking these as a reference”, concludes the UCM expert.

Once its effects on rheumatoid arthritis have been demonstrated, the researchers advance that one of the next steps is to study its potential in the fight against other diseases that involve chronic inflammation, such as intestinal inflammation.


Bibliographic reference:

Apaza Ticona, L., Siñani Callisaya, GB, Aguilar Rico, F., Sánchez Sánchez-Corral, J., Slowing, K. 2022. Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects of compounds from Buddleja coriacea . Natural ProductResearch 10:1-5. DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2022.2025593 .

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