Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 4, Issue 2–3, pp 139–149 | Cite as

Triterpene Saponins from Polygalaceae

  • Marie-Aleth Lacaille-DuboisEmail author
  • Anne-Claire Mitaine-Offer


The aim of this review is to give updated results on the chemistry and biological activities of Polygalaceae saponins from literature data and from authors’ studies. During the last decade the improvement of isolation and structure elucidation techniques allowed the characterization of about 150 complex triterpene saponins from Polygalaceae having mainly preatroxigenin, medicagenic acid and presenegenin as aglycone. The sequence 3-O-(β-d-glucopyranosyl)-presenegenin 28-[O-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-β-d-fucopyranosyl] ester with additional acylations with p-methoxy-, di- or trimethoxycinnamoyl groups at the position 4 of the fucopyranosyl moiety often encountered in the genera Polygala, Muraltia, Carpolobia, and Securidaca may represent a chemotaxonomic marker for the Polygalaceae family. The biological and pharmacological properties of some Polygalaceae species such as in vitro activity on the central nervous system, the hypoglycemic, cytotoxic, immunomodulatory activities and in vivo immunoadjuvant properties are highlighted.


Polygalaceae presenegenin triterpene saponins biological activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Aleth Lacaille-Dubois
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne-Claire Mitaine-Offer
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie, Unité de Molécules d’Intérêt Biologique, UPRES-EA 3660, Faculté de PharmacieUniversité de BourgogneDIJONFrance

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