Matrine comes from the dry roots of leguminous plants and can also be extracted from other plants such as Sophora subprostrata and Sophora alopecuroides aboveground parts. Matrine, first isolated and identified in 1958, is a unique group of alkaloids (tetracyclo-Quinolizindine alkaloids) found in the Sophora family of plants, mainly used to treat cancer, viral hepatitis, Heart disease (e.g. viral myocarditis) and the skin diseases psoriasis and eczema.
At present, alkaloids extracted, isolated and identified from sophora Matrine plants are mainly oxymatrine (C15H24N2O2), Matrine (C15H24N2O), isomatrine (IOSh24N2O), hydroxymatrine (SOPHor-anol) and so on Alkaloids. Matrine and oxymatrine account for 2% of the total root dry weight of Radix Sophocarpine (most of which are in the form of oxymatrine), while there are other similar alkaloids, mainly Sophocarpine (C15H22N2O), Also contains a small amount of sophoranol sophoramine Sophoridine alkali (Sophoridine) Allomatrine, isomatrine (Iosmatrine) and other alkaloid components.
How does the Matrine extracted?
Over the years, researchers have developed a variety of extraction processes for matrine, including solvent extraction, ion exchange, resin adsorption, supercritical fluid extraction and so on.
Solvent extraction includes water extraction, alcohol extraction, adding surfactant is beneficial to improve the extraction rate; Resin adsorption method is a strong acid cation exchange resin column adsorption of alkaloid salts on the resin, non-alkaloid compounds out of the column. As an alkaloid, matrine purified by cation exchange resin has higher yield, lower production cost and simpler process, which is suitable for industrial production. Secondly, resin adsorption has high physical and chemical stability, adsorption selectivity specificity, is not affected by the presence of inorganic substances, simple regeneration, mild desorption conditions, long use cycle, easy to form a closed loop, cost saving and many other advantages.
Supercritical fluid extraction technology is a new extraction and separation technology developed in recent years, which is in the stage of industrial production. It has the advantages of simple process, natural, no solvent residue and low extraction temperature. Its high selectivity, high yield and low toxicity are unmatched by other traditional processes.
What’s the Matrine good for?
- The diuretic
Matrine decoction: experiments in rabbits showed that matrine injection and oral administration can produce diuretic effect, with increased salt excretion before increased urine volume. But the experiment is considered questionable.
- Fight pathogens
The aqueous solution of sophora flavescens at high concentration (1:100) could inhibit mycobacterium tuberculosis. The 8% aqueous decoction has different degree of inhibition on some common skin fungi in vitro.
- Anti-hepatitis B and C viruses
Oxymatrine has been shown to have strong antiviral activity against HBV in vitro and in animal models, and also has anti-HBV effect in human. It has been reported in many cases for the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis.
- Inhibit collagen activity and prevent liver fibrosis
Clinical trial results: The levels of serum alanine transferase (ALT), type IV collagen (IV-C), hyaluronic acid (HA), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and pathological changes of liver tissue were observed. The computer image analysis system was used. The results showed that the levels of ALT, IV-C, HA and TNF-α in serum, the inflammatory activity and the degree of fibrosis in liver tissue in oxymatrine treatment group were lower than those in model group, and the high-dose treatment group was lower than the low-dose treatment group, indicating that Oxy can reduce the inflammatory activity in liver. Inhibit collagen synthesis in liver and inhibit liver fibrosis.
- Regulation of the immune system
There are different reports on the effect of oxymatrine on immune function. It is generally believed to be a bidirectional immunomodulator, stimulating lymphocyte proliferation at low concentrations and inhibiting it at high concentrations. But in general, immunosuppression is the main effect. Clinical experiments showed that oxymatrine could inhibit the proliferation of vascular endothelial cells induced by lung and gastric cancer cells, suggesting that oxymatrine might be a therapeutic agent for preventing and treating tumor metastasis.
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of oxymatrine
Oxymatrine can regulate immunity and increase leukocytes. In recent years, studies have found that matine has anti-allergic effects, inhibits the release of inflammatory mediators, regulates the histamine release of mice and rats’ peritoneal mast cells, effectively inhibits the release of IgE crosslinking and histamine, leukotriene and other mediators, and has the effect of stabilizing cell membranes. The effect of oxymatrine on the proliferation of immune system cells is closely related to the cell state. It can be used to treat autoimmune hepatitis and leukopenia and thrombocytopenia by increasing white blood cells and inhibiting autoimmunity.
At present, matrine is mainly used in pharmaceutical manufacturing and agricultural applications. Matrine pesticide actually refers to all substances extracted from Sophora flavescens, as a safe, low residue, harmless to human new insecticide, and it has good control effect, its potential is constantly being explored.