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Pure Appl. Chem., 2005, Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 25-40

Investigations toward new lead compounds from medicinally important plants

Ashok K. Prasad1, Vineet Kumar1, Pragya Arya1, Sarvesh Kumar2, Rajesh Dabur3, Naresh Singh2, Anil K. Chhillar2, Gainda L. Sharma2, Balaram Ghosh2, Jesper Wengel4, Carl E. Olsen5 and Virinder S. Parmar1

1 Bioorganic Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi, Delhi‑110 007, India
2 Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Mall Road, Delhi‑110 007, India
3 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi-284128, India
4 Nucleic Acid Center, Department of Chemistry, University of Southern Denmark, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
5 Chemistry Department, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract: Extensive phytochemical investigations on 30 Piper species growing in India and other medicinal plants have revealed the presence of a large number of novel compounds belonging to different classes. The antiviral activity of several lignans and neolignans belonging to different structural types has been evaluated against six different viral strains. Further, the effects of ethanol, chloroform, and hexane extracts of Piper longum and Piper galiatum on TNF-α induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on human umbilical vein endothelial cells have been studied, a novel aromatic ester was isolated from the most active extract of P. longum. A potential antifungal compound having implications in treating aspergillosis was isolated from an important Indian medicinal plant, Datura metel.