Background: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder of symmetric
synovial joints which is characterized by the chronic inflammation with 0.5-1%
prevalence in developed countries. Presence of persistent inflammation is attributed to the
major contribution of key inflammatory cytokine and tumour necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-
α). Recent drug designing studies are developing TNF-α blockers to provide relief from
the symptoms of the disease such as pain and inflammation. Available blockers are showing
certain limitations such as it may enhance the rate of tuberculosis (TB) occurrence,
lymphoma risk, cost issues and certain infections are major concern. Discussed limitations
implicated a need of development of some alternative drugs which exhibit fewer
side effects with low cost. Therefore, we have identified anti-inflammatory compounds in
an underutilized fruit of Baccaurea sapida (B.sapida) in our previous studies. Among
them quercetin have been identified as the most potent lead compound for drug designing
studies of RA.
Methods: In the present article, characterization of quercetin has been carried out to
check its drug likeliness and molecular docking study has been carried out between TNF-
α and quercetin by using AutoDock 4.2.1 software. Further, inhibitory effect of B. sapida
fruit extract on RA plasma has been analysed through immunological assay ELISA.
Results: Our in-silico analysis indicated that quercetin showed non carcinogenic reaction
in animal model and it may also cross the membrane barrier easily. We have studied the
ten different binding poses and best binding pose of TNF-α and quercetin showed -6.3
kcal/mol minimum binding energy and 23.94 µM inhibitory constant. In addition to this,
ELISA indicated 2.2 down regulated expression of TNF-α in RA compared to control.
Conclusion: This study may further be utilized for the drug designing studies to reduce
TNF-α mediated inflammation in near future. This attempt may also enhance the utilization
of this plant worldwide.