Isolation and Bioassay evaluation of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitory compounds of Centella asiatica
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Hypertension is by far the most common risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which has been identified as the leading cause of death worldwide and a major economic burden in developing countries. Over the years, there has been an increased interest in isolating and identifying bioactive compounds from medicinal plant, with the aim of finding alternative sources of therapy to some of the problematic synthetic drugs and to validate the therapeutic use of some traditional plants. The renin angiotensin aldosterone system is a key regulator of blood pressure, on which ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme) inhibitors act and have been at the forefront of therapeutic strategy for treatment and management of hypertension and CVD. But despite the success of ACEI’s, their long term use has been associated with side- effects coupled with its contraindication in pregnancy. The plant of interest, Centella asiatica is a widely known medicinal plant, used in treatment of a variety of conditions including hypertension. There is currently no scientific evidence validating its claimed use in hypertension. This study therefore, investigated the ACE inhibitory effects of Centella asiatica. Crude methanol, ethanol and aqueous extracts of Centella asiatica were assayed for ACE inhibition activity. Methanol and ethanol crude extract(s) was subjected to a bioassay guided fractionation process to isolate and identify the active compounds. A fluorescence based ACE assay was utilized at various stages of the process including HPLC purification stage to screen the fractions and compounds for ACE inhibition activity.