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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Thompson, M.; Gallimore, Winklet/ A./Townsend, M.; Chambers, N.; Williams, L.
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Paper/Section Title
An Investigation of Potential Uses for Amphitoxin, A Pyridinium Alkaloid from the Jamaican Sponge, Amphimedon compressa.
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Proceedings Title
Fapronatura Second International Symposium on Pharmacology of Natural Products
Date of Meeting
June 3-7, 2009.
Place of Meeting
Varadero, Cuba.
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Date of Publication
2009
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Abstract
The fierce competition for space on the coral reef has been thought to be one of the reasons why marine plants and animals produce secondary metabolites which can deter, debunk or even destroy potential predators. In our continuing investigations to determine if some of the compounds produced by these marine organisms can possess industrial applications, the common reef sponge Amphimedon compressa was collected by SCUBA in Port Royal, Jamaica, lyophilized and extracted with MeOH:CH2Cl2 (1:1) at room temperature. The crude extract, when concentrated under reduced pressure, yielded a red-brown pasty residue which, on chromatography with Sephadex LH-20, afforded the pyridinium alkaloid amphitoxin as its major constituent, the structure of which was elucidated by interpretation of spectroscopic data from 1H and 13C NMR experiments. The crude extract and the fractions containing high percentages of the metabolite were assessed for ichthyotoxic activity over a three hour period using the Xiphophorus variatus (moon fish) in which note was taken of the rate and manner of swimming activity as well as mortality in the organism. Insecticidal activity with the agriculturally significant pest Cylas formicarius elegantulus (Sweet potato weevil) was examined to determine the potential of the extract for an agricultural application. The extracts were dissolved in acetone and topically applied to the dorsal part of the insects. The ability of the extract to cause mortality in the rodent, Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat), was examined with fifteen randomly selected rats who were given varying concentrations of aqueous solutions of the fractions and the crude extract. From the experiments conducted, moderate insecticidal activity was observed while toxicity of the fish was evidenced by the high mortality rates in all the fractions tested. The species of rodent examined did not appear to be adversely affected by the metabolite under study.....
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