Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3834

Full Length Research Paper

Research update: Lectin enriched fractions of herb and dry extract of Urtica dioica L.

Savickiene Nijole1*,Baniulis Danas2, Bendokas Vidmantas2, Balciunaite Gabriele1, Draksiene Gailute3, Peciura Rimantas3 and Serniene Loreta4
1Department of Pharmacognosy, Medical Academy of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania. 2Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Lithuania. 3Department of Drug Technology and Pharmaceutical Management, Medical academy of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania. 4Department of Food Safety and Animal Hygiene, Veterinary Academy of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 21 December 2011
  •  Published: 09 February 2012


Urtica dioica L is a plant rich in flavonoids, carotenoids, caffeoylmalic acid and has an established medical value. Although content of mineral and organic substances of U. dioica L.  herb is well characterized, presence of bioactive polypeptides is much less appreciated. Seeds and roots of nettle, have been established as a common source for isolation of lectins. Therefore data on the presence of lectins in herb of nettle is ambiguous. Lectin-enriched protein fractions were isolated from herb (fresh and dry) and dry extract of U. dioica L. by using  homogenisation with fluid nitrogen, extraction in 0.01 M phosphate-buffer saline (PBS), concentrating, salting and precipitation. The amount of protein was measured using photometric Bradford method. A proteomic analysis using 2D gel electrophoresis was performed for  lectin – enriched protein fractions isolation and analysis. We estimated quantity of protein and lectins, assessed their blood cell agglutinating activity using tests employing rabbit erythrocytes. The highest concentration of protein and specific hemagglutination activity was observed for protein fractions isolated from fresh herb. The highest lectins content was presented in protein fractions isolated from the dry extract.


Key words: Urtica dioica L., lectins, hemaglutination, electrophoresis.