Bryophyta, potencijalne lekovite sirovine
Bryophytes as a potential source of medicinal compounds
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Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) are the second biggest group of plants after flowering plants, with approximately 28.000 species worldwide. However, not even a part as flowering plants, bryophytes are used as medicinal plants. Bryophyte chemistry is poorly known, and the results on this issue are very scattered. The reason for this is hard identification and small amount of the same species available for analyses by usually sophisticated methods. They are extremely rich in terpenoids, phenols (flavonoids and bibenzyl derivatives), glycosides and fatty acids, but also in same rare aromatic compounds. Bryophytes are considered as a 'remarkable reservoir' of new, natural products or secondary compounds, many of which have shown interesting biological activity. These activities can be presented as: antimicrobial, antifungal, cytotoxic, antitumor, vasopressin (VP) antagonist, cardiotonic, allergy causing, irritancy and tumor promoting, insect anti-feedant, insecticidal, molluscicidal, piscicidal, plant growth regulatory, superoxide anion radical release inhibition and 5-lipoxygenase, calmodulin, hyaluronidase and cyclooxygenase inhibition features of bryophytes. Some latest results also predict beneficial influence of bryophytes in AIDS therapy (some bibenzyles of liverworts). The subject matter of the present paper is focused on the medicinal uses and chemical constituents of bryophytes.