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Novel Alkaloids from Sceletium tortuosum
Sceletium tortuosum (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, which are shown to have significant serotonin-uptake inhibitory activity. This study reports on the isolation of two new alkaloids (1 and 2) along with three known compounds from the aerial part of S. tortuosum. Their structures were elucidated through spectroscopic methods, including NMR experiments and MS analyses.
Acknowledgements: The work was supported by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grant entitled “Science Based Authentication of Dietary Supplements” Number 5U01FD00 4246. References:  Smith M T, et al. (1998) Pharmaceutical Bio., Vol. 36, p. 173 – 179.  Gericke N, Viljoen A M. (2008) J. Ethnopharmacol., Vol. 119, p. 653 – 663.