UNAIR Faculty of Veterinary Medicine lecturer discovers the benefit of Pegagan to inhibit tumor cell growth

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Illustration by Pharmaceutics

UNAIR NEWS – Pegagan (Centella asiatica L. Urban) is an angiospermae with two pieces. Pegagan or Asiatic pennywort is a potent herbal plant in terms of pharmacology. It has a short rhizome and stolon. The roots come out of the book in the form of a white taproot. Stolon grows from the root system, with a long size and grow creeping up. In each book, the stolon will grow shoots which will become the new pegagan plants.

Dr. Iwan Sahrial Hamid, drh., M.Si. conveyed that pegagan is actually a type of wild plant that grows a lot in plantations, fields, roadsides, and rice fields. This plant comes from Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, India, China, Japan and Australia. In several regions in Indonesia, he continued, pegagan is known by several local names, including pegaga (Aceh), horseshoe leaf(Malay), ampagaga (Batak), antanan (Sundanese), sarowati (Maluku), bebele (Nusa Tenggara), and dougauke (Papua).

“Pegagan is a plant that has various benefits for treating various health problems. Pegagan contains asiaticoside, thankuniside, isothanksuniside, madecassoside, brahmoside, brahmic acid, brahminoside, madasiatic acid, centelloside, carotenoids, hydrocotylin, vellarine, tannins and mineral salts such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, “said Vice Dean II of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

Furthermore, Dr. Iwan Sahrial Hamid, drh., M.Si., said that pegagan herb was chosen as the main ingredient because it is one of the most potent plants according to BPOM (Drug and Food Monitoring Agency). Several studies have been conducted regarding the activity of pegagan herb as a leprosy drug, antiseptic, diuretic, immunomodulator, wound healer, antioxidant and antiangiogenesis.

A 2020 scientific evidence by Dr. Iwan Sahrial Hamid, drh., M.Si., revealed pegagan has benefit as an inhibitor of tumor growth through the antiangiogenesis. Based on the results of macroscopic and microscopic observations, it appears that the angiogenesis response on the chorioalantois membrane (CAM) induced by bFGF decreases or the inhibition of angiogenesis on CAM increases with increasing doses of ethanolic extract of pegagan leaves that are tested. The lowest angiogenesis response in this study was the dose of ethanolic extract of pegagan leaves, the maximum was 180 µg.

“Although it is not yet certain, the provision of bFGF as an inducer can provide a little insight into the possible mechanism of its inhibitory action. Various chemical substances that may be contained in the ethanolic extract of pegagan leaves, including flavonoids and polyphenols, are thought to play a role in the ability to inhibit the extract’s angiogenesis, “he said.

Several studies on flavonoids, he continued, recommended it as potential chemical compounds that can inhibit cancer and angiogenesis. These flavonoids, including resveratrol and quercetin at a level of 100 µM, can inhibit angiogenesis aspects (proliferation, endothelial cell migration and formation of blood vessels). Silymarin, an antioxidant flavonoid, is being developed as an inhibiting agent against the COX-2 enzyme.

“These compounds reduce the HUVEC cells (endothelial cells) count at a level of 50 μg / ml. Angiogenesis is blocked by a bFGF-induced COX-2 inhibitor. COX-2 plays a role in the angiogenesis process through prostaglandin synthesis (PG). PG plays an important role in the induction of VEGF. Therefore, inhibition of COX-2 activity will result in inhibition of angiogenesis, “he said.

The content in the ethanolic extract of pegagan leaves, he explained, might act as a COX-2 inhibitor, blocking PG production, thereby preventing endothelial capillary formation and proliferation.

“There is a possibility that the ethanolic extract of pegagan leaves contains compounds that act as angiogenesis inhibitors. This is done, among other things, by blocking the VEGF receptor or bFGF receptor so that it cannot bind to these growth factors or inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a proteinase enzyme that catalyzes the destruction of the extracellular matrix, so that endothelial cells are able to migrate to the surrounding tissue. forming new blood vessels. Based on this fact, it is very possible that the flavonoids in the ethanolic extract of pegagan also have an angiogenesis inhibitory action mechanism, “he concluded. (*)

Author: Muhammad Suryadiningrat

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

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