In vitro antimycobacterial activity of G. glabra

J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 3(4): 80-86, 2015.

Original Article | Artículo Original

In vitro antimycobacterial activity of acetone extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra

[Actividad antimicobacteriana in vitro del extracto de acetona de Glycyrrhiza glabra]

Swapna S. Nair1, Rajesh R. Pharande2, Anilkumar S. Bannalikar2, Alka P. Mukne1

1Department of Pharmacognosy & Phytochemistry, Bombay College of Pharmacy, Kalina, Santacruz (East), Mumbai- 400 098, India.
2Department of Microbiology, Bombay Veterinary College, Parel, Mumbai- 400 012. India.*E-mail:

Context: Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) has been used since ages as expectorant, antitussive and demulcent. G. glabra has been indicated in Ayurveda as an antimicrobial agent for the treatment of respiratory infections and tuberculosis.

Aims: To evaluate the antimycobacterial activity of acetone extract of G. glabra by in vitro techniques.

Methods: The anti-tubercular activity of acetone extract of G. glabra, obtained by Soxhlet extraction, was evaluated against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv (ATCC 27294). The in vitro anti-tubercular activity was determined by Resazurin Microtiter Plate Assay (REMA) and colony count method. Further, the anti-tubercular activity of acetone extract of G. glabra was determined in human macrophage U937 cell lines and was compared against that of the standard drugs isoniazid, rifampicin and ethambutol.

Results: G. glabra extract showed significant activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, when evaluated by REMA/colony count methods and in U937 human macrophage cell lines infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. The activity of the extract was comparable to those of standard drugs. It was observed that the extract showed time and concentration dependent antimycobacterial activity.

Conclusions: The present study reveals that G. glabra extract has promising anti-tubercular activity by preliminary in vitro techniques and in U937 macrophage cell line. Therefore, it has the definite potential to be developed as an affordable, cost-effective drug against tuberculosis.

Keywords: Infections; licorice; macrophage; Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv.


Contexto: La especie Glycyrrhiza glabra (regaliz) ha sido usada desde la antigüedad como expectorante, antitusiva, y demulcente. G. glabra ha sido indicada en la medicina ayurvédica como un agente antimicrobiano para el tratamiento de infecciones respiratorias y tuberculosis.

Objetivos: Evaluar la actividad antimicobacteriana del extracto de acetona de G. glabra por técnicas in vitro.

Métodos: La actividad anti-tuberculosa del extracto de acetona de G. glabra, obtenido por Soxhlet, fue evaluada contra Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv (ATCC 27294). La actividad anti-tuberculosa in vitro  fue determinada por Ensayo de Placa de Microtitulación Resazurin (REMA) y el método de conteo de colonias. Además, la actividad anti-tuberculosa de este extracto fue determinada en células de macrófagos humanos U937 y fue comparada contra aquella de fármacos de referencia como isoniacida, rifampicina y etambutol.

Resultados: El extracto de G. glabra mostró una actividad significativa contra Mycobacterium tuberculosis cuando fue evaluado por los métodos REMA/conteo de colonias y en macrófagos U937 infectados con M. tuberculosis. La actividad del extracto fue comparable a aquella observada con los fármacos de referencia. El extracto mostró una actividad antimicobacteriana dependiente de la concentración y el tiempo.

Conclusiones: El presente estudio revela que el extracto en acetona de G. glabra tiene actividad anti-tuberculosa prometedora, demostrada por técnicas preliminares in vitro y en la línea de macrófagos U937. De esta manera, esta especie tiene un potencial definido para desarrollar un producto asequible contra la tuberculosis.

Palabras Clave: Infectiones; regaliz; macrófago; Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv.

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Citation Format: Nair SS, Pharande RR, Bannalikar AS, Mukne AP (2015) In vitro antimycobacterial activity of acetone extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra. J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 3(4): 80-86.
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