Olajide, Olumayokun A and Fiebich, B.L. (2013) Traditional African Medicine as a source of biologically active substances inhibiting neuroinflammation. Planta Medica, 79 (13). p. 1112. ISSN 0032-0943

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Traditional Africa Medicine (TAM) refers to indigenous forms of healing that are practiced all over Africa. One of the most important forms of TAM is the use of herbal extracts for the prevention and treatment of diseases. Neuroinflammation has been shown to be a critical aspect of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Here we show that extracts and bioactive compounds obtained from African plants are able to inhibit neuroinflammatory processes. Our research has shown that cryptolepine, an alkaloid of the West African shrub, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta (Lindl.) Schltr (Apocynaceae) inhibits neuroinflammation in lipopolysaccharide-(LPS)-activated microglia. This alkaloid has been shown to inhibit inflammatory mediator release from activated microglia through mechanisms involving NF-kB and p38 MAPK signalling. Cryptolepine also produced anti-neuroinflammatory actions in IL-1β-stimulated SK-N-SH neuronal cells. Other African plants which have been shown to exhibit varying degrees of inhibition of neuroinflammation are Anacardium occidentale, Bridelia ferruginea, Picralima nitida and Capsicum extract [1], [2]. The results presented in this talk provide a molecular basis for the potential of these African plants in neuroinflammation