Dysoxylum species have long been used to treat inflammatory conditions and fever throughout Asia, but there is very limited published information on the pharmacological properties of Dysoxylum cauliflorum Hiern, a member of the Meliaceae family found in the primary rain forest of Malaysia and elsewhere in South-east Asia. To characterise the biological actions of this plant, extracts of the leaf and bark parts were prepared and tested for their antioxidant, cytoprotective, growth inhibitory and immunomodulatory properties. The ethanol extracts possessed weak antioxidant activity, which was linked to high phenolics content, whereas the ethyl acetate and hexane extracts displayed good cytoprotective activity. The ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts of leaf and the ethyl acetate and hexane extracts of bark displayed good growth inhibitory activity, which, however, was not selective to tumour cells. The ethyl acetate extract of leaf possessed a combination of immunomodulatory activities which suggested a good immunoinhibition function. Cytoprotection and immunoinhibition at non-toxic concentrations suggest putative anti-inflammatory properties worthy of further investigation.
Key words: Dysoxylum cauliflorum Hiern., antioxidant, cytoprotection, growth inhibition, immunomodulation.
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