©The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
January 2005

Sophora secundiflora
Amistad Natl. Rec. Area, TX
Spjut & Marin 15149, Nov 2002

Sophora viciifolia
Cultivated, Chico, CA
Former USDA Plant Introduction Station
Spjut 3402, May 1973

Sophora secundiflora
Lake Corpus Christi, TX
Spjut 5052, June 1978


Ding P. L., H. Huang, P. Zhou and D. F. Chen.  2006. Quinolizidine alkaloids with anti-HBV activity from Sophora tonkinensis.  Planta Med. 72(9): 854–856.  “A new matrine-type alkaloid, (-)-14 beta-hydroxyoxymatrine (1), was isolated from the roots and rhizomes of Sophora tonkinensis Gapnep. (Leguminosae), together with five known matrine-type alkaloids, (-)-14 beta-hydroxymatrine (2), (+)-oxymatrine (3), (+)-matrine (4), (+)-sophoranol (5), and (-)-5 alpha-hydroxysophocarpine ( 6), as well as with two known cytisine-type alkaloids, (-)-cytisine (7) and (-)- N-methylcytisine (8). Their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods. Compounds 1, 5 and 7 showed potent anti-HBV activity with an inhibitory potency against HBsAg secretion of 22.6 %, 31.1 % and 33.2 %, and against HBeAg secretion of 30.4 %, 26.3 % and 27.8 %, respectively.”

Liu X. S., J. Jiang, X. Y. Jiao, Y. W. Wu and J. H. Lin JH.  2006. Matrine-Induced Apoptosis in Leukemia U937 Cells: Involvement of Caspases Activation and MAPK-Independent “Pathways.  Planta Med.  “It is reported that matrine, one of the major effective compounds isolated from the root of SOPHORA FLAVESCENS Ait., has anti-leukemia activity. In this study, we find that the treatment of leukemia U937 cells with matrine results in induction of apoptosis. Analysis of the mechanism underling this apoptotic event showed activation of caspases-9, -3, and -7, and release of cytochrome C from mitochondria to cytosol, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Matrine did not alter the level of bcl-2 and bcl-xL as well as bax. In addition, no correlation was found between matrine administration and activation of the three major MAPK subfamilies (Erk1/2, p38, JNK/SAPK). The results indicate that matrine induces apoptosis in U937 cells via a cytochrome C-triggered caspase activation pathway. MAPK:mitogen activated protein kinase JUN/SAPKs:c-Jun N-terminal kinases/stress-activated protein kinases Erk1/2:extracellular signal-related kinases.”

Luo C., Y. Zhu, T. Jiang, X. Lu, W. Zhang, Q. Jing, J. Li, L. Pang, K. Chen, F. Qiu, X. Yu, J. Yang and J. Huang.  2006. Matrine induced gastric cancer MKN45 cells apoptosis via increasing pro-apoptotic molecules of Bcl-2 family.  “Matrine, one of the main active components from the dry roots of Sophora flavescence, was known to induce apoptosis in a variety of tumor cells in vitro. However, the molecular mechanism of cell apoptosis induced by Matrine remains elusive. Here, we investigated the apoptosis in Matrine-treated human gastric cancer MKN45 cells. The results showed that Matrine could inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. Further immunoblots revealed that in Matrine-treated cells, caspase-3, -7 were activated and the pro-apoptotic molecules Bok, Bak, Bax, Puma, and Bim were also up-regulated. Our results suggested that Matrine induced gastric cancer MKN45 cells apoptosis via increasing pro-apoptotic molecules of Bcl-2 family

Ma Xingming, Yu Hongjuan, Deng Ying, Luo Yanping, Tian Weihua, An Fangyu, and Guo Jun. 2009.  Antitumor effects of ethanolic extracts from Sophora moorcroftiana seeds in mice. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal 11(1): 18–22.  “Sophora moorcroftiana (Wallich) is an endemic shrub species in Tibet, China, and is a plant with a great value in folk medicine. The previous studies had shown that the ethanolic (95%) extracts were much more effective than other extracts from Sophora moorcroftiana seeds on antiproliferative effects, inducing apoptosis in the human stomach cancer SGC-7901 cell line in vitro.”

Wang Z. L., J. Y. Sun, D. N. Wang, Y. H. Xie, S. W. Wang and W. M. Zhao. 2006.  Pharmacological studies of the large-scaled purified genistein from Huaijiao (Sophora japonica - Leguminosae) on anti-osteoporosis.  Phytomedicine13(9-10): 718–723.  “In this report, we used genistein that was extracted from a Chinese herbal medicine Huaijiao (Sophora japonica - Leguminosae) to evulate its pharmacological function on anti-osteoporosis. This genistein is purified in a large-scale production from Huaijiao by a state-of-art method as described by Tian et al. [2004. The preparation of genistein and LC-MS/MS on-line analysis. Drug Devel. Res. 61, 6-12]. Chemical structure of the isolated genistein was examined by using various techniques including nuclear magnetic resonant spectrum, infrared absorption spectrum, ultraviolet absorption spectrum and mass spectrum, and was proved to be identical to those purified from soybean in a small scale as previously reported. We randomly divided female SD rats into 6 groups, including control, ovariectomized model, Nilestriol-treated, and three level of dosages of genistein-treated. We evaluated the pharmacological effects of genistein against osteoporosis by measuring the bone density of femur and bone mineral group including calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. The consequences of genistein treatment on bone histology and morphology were also determined by measuring the trabcular area, thickness and number. Our results indicated that treatment with a 4.5 or 9mg/kg dosage of genistein could also prevent osteoporosis significantly at the 4th week after treatment. In comparison with the anti-osteoporosis effects of soybean genistein, the genistein extracted from Huaijiao has the same beneficial effect on anti-osteoporosis.”

Zhang Y., H. Zhu, G. Ye, C. Huang, Y. Yang, R. Chen, Y. Yu and X. Cui. 2006. Antiviral effects of sophoridine against coxsackievirus B3 and its pharmacokinetics in rats.  Life Sci. 78(17): 1998–2005.  “Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is a major pathogen for acute and chronic viral myocarditis. The aim of this study was to investigate the antiviral effects of sophoridine, an alkaloid extracted from Chinese medicinal herb, Sophora flavescens, against CVB3, and the underlying pharmacokinetics. First, we determined the antiviral effects of sophoridine against CVB3 in in vitro (primarily cultured myocardial cells), in vivo (BALB/c mice) and serum pharmacological experiments. Then, we determined the pharmacokinetic behavior in serum samples of SD rats after oral administration by HPLC. Finally, we determined the effects of sophoridine on the production of cytokines in a murine viral myocarditis model by measuring mRNA expression of some important cytokines in hearts of infected BALB/c mice by RT-PCR. We found that sophoridine exhibited obvious antiviral effects both in vitro and in vivo, and serum samples obtained from rats with oral administration of sophoridine reduced the virus titers in infected myocardial cells. The serum concentration profile correlated closely with antiviral activity profile. Moreover, sophoridine significantly enhanced mRNA expression of IL-10 and IFN-gamma, but decreased TNF-alpha mRNA expression. In conclusion, sophoridine possesses antiviral activities against CVB3, by regulating cytokine expression, and it is likely that sophoridine itself, not its metabolites, is mainly responsible for the antiviral activities. Therefore, sophoridine may represent a potential therapeutic agent for viral myocarditis.”