In our continuing study on a survey of biologically active natural products from heartwood of Santalum album (Southwest Indian origin), we newly found potent fish toxic activity of an n-hexane soluble extract upon primary screening using killifish (medaka) and characterized α-santalol and β-santalol as the active components. The toxicity (median tolerance limit (TLm) after 24 h at 1.9 ppm) of α-santalol was comparable with that of a positive control, inulavosin (TLm after 24 h at 1.3 ppm). These fish toxic compounds including inulavosin were also found to show a significant antifungal effect against a dermatophytic fungus, Trichophyton rubrum. Based on a similarity of the morphological change of the immobilized Trichophyton hyphae in scanning electron micrographs between treatments with α-santalol and griseofulvin (used as the positive control), inhibitory effect of α-santalol on mitosis (the antifungal mechanism proposed for griseofulvin) was assessed using sea urchin embryos. As a result, α-santalol was revealed to be a potent antimitotic agent induced by interference with microtubule assembly. These data suggested that α-santalol or sandalwood oil would be promising to further practically investigate as therapeutic agent for cancers as well as fungal skin infections.
Last modified: November 29, 2017