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J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Mar 27;146(2):594-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.01.031. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Effect of a Congolese herbal medicine used in sickle cell anemia on the expression of plasminogen activators in human coronary aortic endothelial cells culture.

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  • 1Organization for Frontier Research, Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokuriku University, Kanazawa 920-1181, Japan.



Aqueous extract of Ceiba pentandra, which is used for the management of sickle cell anemia (SCA) in DR Congo, exhibits antithrombin response by activation of Heparin cofactor II in vitro. This study examines the effect of the plant on the fibrinolytic activity to understand whether it can influence the coagulation-fibrinolysis system, since fibrinolysis disorder is one of the contributing causes of thrombotic crises in SCA.


Fibrinolysis proteins were determined by enzyme-immunoassay in the conditioned medium of cultured endothelial cells after treatment with the extract. Electrophoresis-zymography and RT-PCR tests were conducted to examine the activity and the RNA synthesis of these proteins, respectively.


It was found that the extract decreased the activity of both tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1). However, it was revealed that this effect was not the result of an inhibition of their biosynthesis by endothelial cells.


From the foregoing, it was revealed that the extract inhibited the secretion of the fibrinolytic proteins without affecting their synthesis by endothelial cells. Thus, the extract may not accelerate the digestion of fibrin clot resulting from thrombotic disorders in SCA.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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