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    Species of the genus Vepris are used in traditional African pharmacopeia for the treatment of various conditions, including chronic diseases and other parasitic. Further uses are against whooping cough and colic in children and as an antidote against snakebite. Data presented will enable the interested scientists to work on this genus applying the so-called "ethnopharmacologic approach", which may lead towards the discovery of the effective, safe plant medicinal products. This review article aims to collate and analyse the available information on the traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicological aspects of Vepris species in order to explore the trends and perspectives for further studies. The present review paper collected the literature published prior to August 2020 on the ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of the genus Vepris. The available information about the genus Vepris was collected via Google Books, Google Scholar, PubMed, ScienceDirect, SciFinder, Web of Science, and other internet sources. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (, Plants of the world online (, and The Plant List ( databases were used to verify the scientific names and provide distribution information of Vepris species. Comprehensive analysis of the literature provided information on ethnopharmacological uses of 30 species out of 83 members in the genus. A total of 213 compounds - predominantly alkaloids - were reported together with results from antioxidant, cytotoxic, antimicrobial, antiplasmodial, antitrypanosomal, antileishmanial, antidiabetic, antipyretic, analgesic, insect antifeedant, and toxicity assays. Arborinine (49) and skimmianine (4) isolated from the leaves of V. trichocarpa were tested toxic in rat skeletal myoblast cell line L6, a stable skeletal muscle progenitor cell line, while the leaves of V. heterophylla, the stem bark of V. louisii, and the roots of V. uguenensis were shown to be toxic against model organisms T. castaneum (Tenebrionidae), H. bakeri (Trychostrongylidae), and M. domestica (Muscidae), respectively. In addition, 6,7-methylenedioxy-5-hydroxy-8-methoxy-dictamnine (40) isolated from the leaves of a combined sample of V. renieri + V. suaveolens displayed an extremely low IC50 of 0.67 μM against the normal fibroblastic lung cell line MRC-5 indicating high toxicity. Thus, medical use of these plant parts, as well of the stem bark of V. verdoorniana used locally in poison fishing, should be avoided if alternative treatments exist. Furthermore, a good number of significantly in vitro bioactive compounds have been reported from the genus Vepris: against malaria and against microbial infections. Various Vepris species were found to be used in traditional African pharmacopeia. However, few of these species were studied for their bioactive chemical constituents with even fewer bioassay-guided isolation studies being reported. Moreover, detailed pharmacological studies in animal models to explore their mode of action were not reported. Therefore, future studies should focus on these aspects. In addition, we would like to recommend further research on some significantly bioactive crude extracts that were identified in this review: V. leandriana; V. lanceolata; V. nobilis; and V. trichocarpa, as well as those plants reported to be used against chronic diseases. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Japheth Omollo Ombito, Godloves Fru Chi, Jean Duplex Wansi. Ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of the genus Vepris (Rutaceae): A review. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2021 Mar 01;267:113622

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    PMID: 33246126

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