Annatto Oil Loaded Nanostructured Lipid Carriers: A Potential New Treatment for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.
ABSTRACT: Annatto (Bixa orellana L.) is extensively used as food pigment worldwide. Recently, several studies have found it to have healing and antioxidant properties, as well as effective action against leishmaniasis. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to incorporate the oil obtained from annatto seeds into a nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC) and evaluate its physicochemical properties and biological activity against Leishmania major. Nanoparticles were prepared by the fusion-emulsification and ultrasonication method, with the components Synperonic™ PE (PL) as the surfactant, cetyl palmitate (CP) or myristyl myristate (MM) as solid lipids, annatto oil (AO) (2% and 4%, w/w) as liquid lipid and active ingredient, and ultra-pure water. Physicochemical and biological characterizations were carried out to describe the NLCs, including particle size, polydispersity index (PDI), and zeta potential (ZP) by dynamic light scattering (DLS), encapsulation efficiency (EE%), thermal behavior, X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), cytotoxicity on BALB/c 3T3 fibroblasts and immortalized human keratinocyte cells, and anti-leishmaniasis activity in vitro. Nanoparticles presented an average diameter of ~200 nm (confirmed by TEM results), a PDI of less than 0.30, ZP between -12.6 and -31.2 mV, and more than 50% of AO encapsulated in NLCs. Thermal analyses demonstrated that the systems were stable at high temperatures with a decrease in crystalline structure due to the presence of AOs (confirmed by XRD). In vitro, the anti-leishmania test displayed good activity in encapsulating AO against L. major. The results indicate that the oily fraction of Bixa orellana L. in NLC systems should be evaluated as a potential therapeutic agent against leishmaniasis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Full chloroplast genomes provide high resolution taxonomic discrimination between closely related plant species and are quickly replacing single and multi-locus barcoding regions as reference materials of choice for DNA based taxonomic annotation of plants. Bixa orellana, commonly known as "achiote" and "annatto" is a plant used for both human and animal foods and was thus identified for full chloroplast sequencing for the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Complete Chloroplast Animal Feed database. This work was conducted in collaboration with the Instituto de Medicina Tradicional (IMET) in Iquitos, Peru. There is a wide range of color variation in pods of Bixa orellana for which genetic loci that distinguish phenotypes have not yet been identified. Here we apply whole chloroplast genome sequencing of "red" and "yellow" individuals of Bixa orellana to provide high quality reference genomes to support kmer database development for use identifying this plant from complex mixtures using shotgun data. Additionally, we describe chloroplast gene content, synteny and phylogeny, and identify an indel and snp that may be associated with seed pod color. RESULTS:Fully assembled chloroplast genomes were produced for both red and yellow Bixa orellana accessions (158,918 and 158,823?bp respectively). Synteny and gene content was identical to the only other previously reported full chloroplast genome of Bixa orellana (NC_041550). We observed a 17 base pair deletion at position 58,399-58,415 in both accessions, relative to NC_041550 and a 6?bp deletion at position 75,531-75,526 and a snp at position 86,493 in red Bixa orellana. CONCLUSIONS:Our data provide high quality reference genomes of individuals of red and yellow Bixa orellana to support kmer based identity markers for use with shotgun sequencing approaches for rapid, precise identification of Bixa orellana from complex mixtures. Kmer based phylogeny of full chloroplast genomes supports monophylly of Bixaceae consistent with alignment based approaches. A potentially discriminatory indel and snp were identified that may be correlated with the red phenotype.
Project description:Annatto (Bixa orellana L.) is a tropical American crop, commercially valuable due to its application in the food and cosmetics industries as a natural dye. The wild ancestor of cultivated annatto is B. orellana var. urucurana. Although never cultivated, this variety occurs in open forests and anthropogenic landscapes, and is always associated with riparian environments. In this study, we evaluated the genetic diversity and structure of B. orellana var. urucurana populations in Brazilian Amazonia using 16 microsatellite loci. We used Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) to characterize the potential geographical range of this variety in northern South America. We analyzed 170 samples from 10 municipalities in the states of Rondônia, Pará and Roraima. A total of 194 alleles was observed, with an average of 12.1 alleles per locus. Higher levels of expected (HE) than observed (HO) heterozygosities were found for all populations. Bayesian analysis, Neighbor-Joining dendrograms and PCAs suggest the existence of three strongly structured groups of populations. A strong and positive correlation between genetic and geographic distances was found, suggesting that genetic differentiation might be caused by geographic isolation. From species distribution modelling, we detected that South Rondônia, Madre di Dios River basin, Llanos de Mojos, Llanos de Orinoco and eastern Ecuador are highly suitable areas for wild annatto to occur, providing additional targets for future exploration and conservation. Climatic adaptation analyses revealed strong differentiation among populations, suggesting that precipitation plays a key role in wild annatto's current and potential distribution patterns.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests that aberrant innate immunity is closely linked to metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. In particular, activation of the NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome and subsequent secretion of interleukin 1? (IL-1?) are critical determinants that precipitate disease progression. The seeds of annatto (<i>Bixa orellana L</i>.) contain tocotrienols (T3s), mostly (>90%) in the ? form (?T3). The aim of this study was to determine whether annatto T3 is effective in attenuating NLRP3 inflammasome activation in macrophages. Our results showed that annatto ?T3 significantly attenuated NLRP3 inflammasome by decreasing IL-1? reporter activity, IL-1? secretion, and caspase-1 cleavage against lipopolysaccharide (LPS) followed by nigericin stimulation. With regard to mechanism, annatto ?T3 <i>1</i>) reduced LPS-mediated priming of the inflammasome and <i>2</i>) dampened reactive oxygen species production, the second signal required for assembly of the NLRP3 inflammasome in macrophages. Our work suggests that annatto ?T3 may hold therapeutic potential for delaying the onset of NLRP3 inflammasome-associated chronic metabolic diseases.
Project description:Bixin or annatto is a commercially important natural orange-red pigment derived from lycopene that is produced and stored in seeds of Bixa orellana L. An enzymatic pathway for bixin biosynthesis was inferred from homology of putative proteins encoded by differentially expressed seed cDNAs. Some activities were later validated in a heterologous system. Nevertheless, much of the pathway remains to be clarified. For example, it is essential to identify the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) and carotenoid pathways genes.In order to investigate the MEP, carotenoid, and bixin pathways genes, total RNA from young leaves and two different developmental stages of seeds from B. orellana were used for the construction of indexed mRNA libraries, sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform and assembled de novo using Velvet, CLC Genomics Workbench and CAP3 software. A total of 52,549 contigs were obtained with average length of 1,924 bp. Two phylogenetic analyses of inferred proteins, in one case encoded by thirteen general, single-copy cDNAs, in the other from carotenoid and MEP cDNAs, indicated that B. orellana is closely related to sister Malvales species cacao and cotton. Using homology, we identified 7 and 14 core gene products from the MEP and carotenoid pathways, respectively. Surprisingly, previously defined bixin pathway cDNAs were not present in our transcriptome. Here we propose a new set of gene products involved in bixin pathway.The identification and qRT-PCR quantification of cDNAs involved in annatto production suggest a hypothetical model for bixin biosynthesis that involve coordinated activation of some MEP, carotenoid and bixin pathway genes. These findings provide a better understanding of the mechanisms regulating these pathways and will facilitate the genetic improvement of B. orellana.
Project description:Carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs) are a class of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of a broad diversity of secondary metabolites known as apocarotenoids. In plants, CCDs are part of a genetic family with members which cleave specific double bonds of carotenoid molecules. CCDs are involved in the production of diverse and important metabolites such as vitamin A and abscisic acid (ABA). Bixa orellana L. is the main source of the natural pigment annatto or bixin, an apocarotenoid accumulated in large quantities in its seeds. Bixin biosynthesis has been studied and the involvement of a CCD has been confirmed in vitro. However, the CCD genes involved in the biosynthesis of the wide variety of apocarotenoids found in this plant have not been well documented. In this study, a new CCD1 gene member (BoCCD1) was identified and its expression was charaterized in different plant tissues of B. orellana plantlets and adult plants. The BoCCD1 sequence showed high homology with plant CCD1s involved mainly in the cleavage of carotenoids in several sites to generate multiple apocarotenoid products. Here, the expression profiles of the BoCCD1 gene were analysed and discussed in relation to total carotenoids and other important apocarotenoids such as bixin.
Project description:Bixa orellana L., popularly known as "urucum," has been used by indigenous communities in Brazil and other tropical countries for several biological applications, which indicates its potential use as an active ingredient in pharmaceutical products. The aim of this work was to report the main evidence found in the literature, concerning the ethnopharmacology, the biological activity, and the phytochemistry studies related to Bixa orellana L. Therefore, this work comprises a systematic review about the use of Bixa orellana in the American continent and analysis of the data collected. This study shows the well-characterized pharmacological actions that may be considered relevant for the future development of an innovative therapeutic agent.
Project description:Bixa orellana L., popularly known as annatto, produces several secondary metabolites of pharmaceutical and industrial interest, including bixin, whose molecular basis of biosynthesis remain to be determined. Gene expression analysis by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is an important tool to advance such knowledge. However, correct interpretation of qPCR data requires the use of suitable reference genes in order to reduce experimental variations. In the present study, we have selected four different candidates for reference genes in B. orellana, coding for 40S ribosomal protein S9 (RPS9), histone H4 (H4), 60S ribosomal protein L38 (RPL38) and 18S ribosomal RNA (18SrRNA). Their expression stabilities in different tissues (e.g. flower buds, flowers, leaves and seeds at different developmental stages) were analyzed using five statistical tools (NormFinder, geNorm, BestKeeper, ?Ct method and RefFinder). The results indicated that RPL38 is the most stable gene in different tissues and stages of seed development and 18SrRNA is the most unstable among the analyzed genes. In order to validate the candidate reference genes, we have analyzed the relative expression of a target gene coding for carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 1 (CCD1) using the stable RPL38 and the least stable gene, 18SrRNA, for normalization of the qPCR data. The results demonstrated significant differences in the interpretation of the CCD1 gene expression data, depending on the reference gene used, reinforcing the importance of the correct selection of reference genes for normalization.
Project description:Lyophilization is often employed to transform nanoparticle suspensions to stable solid forms. This work proposed Neurofuzzy Logic (NFL) to better understand the lyophilization process of Nanostructured Lipid Carriers' (NLCs) dispersions and the carbohydrate cryoprotectants' (CPs) performance in these processes. NLCs were produced by hot homogenization, frozen at different speeds, and lyophilized using several CPs at variable concentrations. NLCs were characterized, and results were expressed as increase in particle size (Δ size), polydispersity (Δ PdI), and zeta potential (Δ ZP) of lyophilized powders (LP) regarding initial dispersions. CPs were classified according to their molecular weights (MW), and the osmolarities (Π) of CPs solutions were also determined. Databases obtained were finally modelled through FormRules<sup>®</sup> (Intelligensys Ltd., Kirkwall, Scotland, UK), an NFL software. NFL models revealed that CPs' MW determines the optimal freezing conditions and CPs' proportions. The knowledge generated allowed the establishment of a traffic light system intended to successfully select and apply sugars for nanoparticles lyophilization.
Project description:Rivastigmine is a drug commonly used in the management of Alzheimer's disease that shows bioavailability problems. To overcome this, the use of nanosystems, such as nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC), administered through alternative routes seems promising. In this work, we performed a double optimization of a rivastigmine-loaded NLC formulation for direct drug delivery from the nose to the brain using the quality by design (QbD) approach, whereby the quality target product profile (QTPP) was the requisite for nose to brain delivery. The experiments started with the optimization of the formulation variables (or critical material attributes-CMAs) using a central composite design. The rivastigmine-loaded NLC formulations with the best critical quality attributes (CQAs) of particle size, polydispersity index (PDI), zeta potential (ZP), and encapsulation efficiency (EE) were selected for the second optimization, which was related to the production methods (ultrasound technique and high-pressure homogenization). The most suitable instrumental parameters for the production of NLC were analyzed through a Box-Behnken design, with the same CQAs being evaluated for the first optimization. For the second part of the optimization studies, were selected two rivastigmine-loaded NLC formulations: one produced by ultrasound technique and the other by the high-pressure homogenization (HPH) method. Afterwards, the pH and osmolarity of these formulations were adjusted to the physiological nasal mucosa values and in vitro drug release studies were performed. The results of the first part of the optimization showed that the most adequate ratios of lipids and surfactants were 7.49:1.94 and 4.5:0.5 (%, w/w), respectively. From the second part of the optimization, the results for the particle size, PDI, ZP, and EE of the rivastigmine-loaded NLC formulations produced by ultrasound technique and HPH method were, respectively, 114.0 ± 1.9 nm and 109.0 ± 0.9 nm; 0.221 ± 0.003 and 0.196 ± 0.007; -30.6 ± 0.3 mV and -30.5 ± 0.3 mV; 97.0 ± 0.5% and 97.2 ± 0.3%. Herein, the HPH was selected as the most suitable production method, although the ultrasound technique has also shown effectiveness. In addition, no significant changes in CQAs were observed after 90 days of storage of the formulations at different temperatures. In vitro studies showed that the release of rivastigmine followed a non-Fickian mechanism, with an initial fast drug release followed by a prolonged release over 48 h. This study has optimized a rivastigmine-loaded NLC formulation produced by the HPH method for nose-to-brain delivery of rivastigmine. The next step is for in vitro and in vivo experiments to demonstrate preclinical efficacy and safety. QbD was demonstrated to be a useful approach for the optimization of NLC formulations for which specific physicochemical requisites can be identified.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The antimicrobial activity and Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of the extracts of Bidens pilosa L., Bixa orellana L., Cecropia peltata L., Cinchona officinalis L., Gliricidia sepium H.B. & K, Jacaranda mimosifolia D.Don, Justicia secunda Vahl., Piper pulchrum C.DC, P. paniculata L. and Spilanthes americana Hieron were evaluated against five bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus beta hemolític, Bacillus cereus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli), and one yeast (Candida albicans). These plants are used in Colombian folk medicine to treat infections of microbial origin.<h4>Methods</h4>Plants were collected by farmers and traditional healers. The ethanol, hexane and water extracts were obtained by standard methods. The antimicrobial activity was found by using a modified agar well diffusion method. All microorganisms were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). MIC was determined in the plant extracts that showed some efficacy against the tested microorganisms. Gentamycin sulfate (1.0 microg/ml), clindamycin (0.3 microg/ml) and nystatin (1.0 microg/ml) were used as positive controls.<h4>Results</h4>The water extracts of Bidens pilosa L., Jacaranda mimosifolia D.Don, and Piper pulchrum C.DC showed a higher activity against Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli than gentamycin sulfate. Similarly, the ethanol extracts of all species were active against Staphylococcus aureus except for Justicia secunda. Furthermore, Bixa orellana L, Justicia secunda Vahl. and Piper pulchrum C.DC presented the lowest MICs against Escherichia coli (0.8, 0.6 and 0.6 microg/ml, respectively) compared to gentamycin sulfate (0.9 8 g/ml). Likewise, Justicia secunda and Piper pulchrum C.DC showed an analogous MIC against Candida albicans (0.5 and 0.6 microg/ml, respectively) compared to nystatin (0.6 microg/ml). Bixa orellana L, exhibited a better MIC against Bacillus cereus (0.2 microg/ml) than gentamycin sulfate (0.5 microg/ml).<h4>Conclusion</h4>This in vitro study corroborated the antimicrobial activity of the selected plants used in folkloric medicine. All these plants were effective against three or more of the pathogenic microorganisms. However, they were ineffective against Streptococcus beta hemolytic and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Their medicinal use in infections associated with these two species is not recommended. This study also showed that Bixa orellana L, Justicia secunda Vahl. and Piper pulchrum C.DC could be potential sources of new antimicrobial agents.