Planta Med 1991; 57(2): 116-118
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-960044

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The in vitro Effects of Griffonin and Ouabain on Erythrocyte Sodium Content Obtained from Normal Subjects and Sickle Cell Patients

E. T. Larmie1 , L. Poston2
  • 1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 2St. Thomas's Hospital, London, U. K.
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Publication History


Publication Date:
05 January 2007 (online)


The in vitro effects of griffonin and ouabain on erythrocyte sodium content have been investigated in 6 normal subjects and 6 sickle cell patients. Intracellular sodium contents of normal or sickle cells incubated for 8 h in tris buffer, griffonin/tris buffer, or ouabain/tris buffer were determined. Incubation of normal cells in tris buffer or 0.5 mmol/l griffonin had little effect on the cell sodium content. However, 1.0 mmol/l griffonin/tris buffer raised the cell sodium level (P < 0.05) over the incubation period. Ouabain/tris buffer (0.5 mmol/l or 1.0 mmol/1) also raised the sodium content (P < 0.05 to P < 0.001). Incubation of sickle cells in tris buffer raised the cell sodium (P < 0.05) as did 0.5 mmol/l or 1.0 mmol/l griffonin (P < 0.05 to P < 0.001). Ouabain/tris buffer (0.5 mmol/l or 1.0 mmol/1) raised the intra-erythrocyte sodium level (P < 0.01 to P < 0.001). These findings suggest that ouabain and griffonin both have similar actions on intra-erythrocyte sodium content although ouabain was more potent. It is suggested therefore that griffonin could be a useful anti-sickling drug for sickle cell disease crisis.