Structure of Novel Alkaloids from Sceletium tortuosum
Sceletium tortuosum, family Mesembryanthemaceae, is a succulent plant native to South Africa where it is locally known as “Kanna”, “Channa”, or “Kougoed” . The genus Sceletium has been used for anti-anxiety, anti-stress, and anti-depression in traditional medicine in South Africa . Its psychoactive properties are due to the presence of Sceletium alkaloids (mesembrine and mesembrenone are major constituents, Figure) [3, 4]. Mesembrine was shown to have significant serotonin-uptake inhibitory activity . This study reports on the isolation of two new alkaloids along with known compounds from the aerial part of S. tortuosum. Their structures were elucidated through spectroscopic methods, including 1D and 2D NMR experiments and HR MS analysis.
Acknowledgements: The work was supported by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grant entitled “Science Based Authentication of Dietary Supplements” Number 5U01FD004246. References:  Smith MT, Field CR, et al. (1998) Pharmaceutical Bio, 36: 173 – 179.  Gericke N, Viljoen AM (2008)J Ethnopharmacol, 119: 653 – 663.  Smith MT, Field CR, et al. (1996)J Ethnopharmacol, 50: 119 – 130.  Harvey AL, Young LC, et al. (2011)J Ethnopharmacol, 137: 1124 – 1129.  US Patent. (2001) United States Patent 6, 288,104.