Metabolites from the citrus extracts inhibit the activity of selected proteins in Indian Cobra (Naja naja) venom.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Apr 24 ;252:112575. Epub 2020 Jan 15. PMID: 31953201
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Snakebite is a severe problem in many parts of the world, specifically in tropical and subtropical regions. A range of medicinal plant extracts are administered for treating snake bite. Of the many common plants, extracts of Citrus species have been documented to be used for treating snake bite and have been shown to decrease the snake venom toxicity.
AIM: The aim of the current work is to evaluate the utility of citrus peel extracts (Citrus aurantium L. and Citrus reticulate Blanco) in the management of Indian cobra envenomation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Peels of citrus species were evaluated for their phospholipase A, protease and haemolytic inhibition properties. The phytochemicals present in the extract were inferred using GC-MS. In-vivo studies, using mice model, were done to confirm the inhibitory effect of the extracts. Molecular docking was used to understand the possible binding modes of selected phytochemicals to snake venom phospholipase.
RESULTS: Citrus peel extracts are rich in polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins. The methanolic extract of Citrus aurantium L. and Citrus reticulate Blanco inhibits phospholipase (75%), protease (71%) and hemolysis (80%) activity of the venom. GC-MS analyses indicate the presence ofβ-sitosterol, n-hexadecanoic acid, eicosanoic acid, and flavone in both the extracts. In addition, C. reticulate extract contains α-tocopherol and squalene. Molecular docking revealed that α-tocopherol, spiro [androst-5-ene-17,1'-cyclobutan]-2'-one,3-hydroxy-(3β,17β)- and β-sitosterol acetatebind with moderate affinity to the catalytic site of phospholipase A2.
CONCLUSION: The present study provides new molecular insight and scientific evidence on the utility of the methanolic extracts of citrus peels to neutralize the venom toxins of Naja naja.