Three new steroidal saponins were isolated from the rhizomes of Smilax officinalis . The structures of these saponins were established by extensive spectral data, hydrolysis and chemical correlation as sarsasapogenin 3-O-β- d -glucopyranosyl-(1→4)-[α- l -arabinopyranosyl-(1→6)]-β- d -glucopyranoside , neotigogenin 3-O-β- d - glucopyranosyl-(1→4)-[α- l -arabinopyranosyl-(1→6)]-β- d -glucopyranoside and 25S- spirostan -6β- ol 3-O-β- d - glucopyranosyl-(1→4)-[α- l -arabinopyranosyl-(1→6)]-β- d -glucopyranoside . Acid hydrolysis of the latter compound gave a sapogenin which has a new orientation of an hydroxyl on the steroidal skeleton. A route is proposed for the biogenesis of the latter sapogenin which is an uncommon steroidal aglycone.
Saponins from the Gypsophila paniculata (baby’s breath) plant have been shown to significantly augment the cytotoxicity of immunotoxins and other targeted toxins directed against human cancer cells. The research groups of Professor Hendrik Fuchs ( Charité University, Berlin, Germany) and Dr David Flavell (Southampton General Hospital, United Kingdom) are working together toward the development of Gypsophila saponins for use in combination with immunotoxins or other targeted toxins for patients with leukaemia , lymphoma and other cancers .
In mild cases of toxicity (atrial fibrillation with a slow ventricular response or occasional ectopic beats), temporary withdrawal of the drug and electrocardiogram monitoring is sufficient. 6 Gastric lavage or emesis together with supportive measures, such as electrolyte replacements, antiarrhythmics (eg, lidocaine, phenytoin), and atropine, have been used to manage acute poisonings. Digoxin-specific Fab antibody fragments may be used in managing acute intoxications caused by digitalis and related cardioactive glycosides; however, their efficacy remains unproven by controlled clinical trials. 13 , 25 , 28 , 29