Evaluation of antileishmanial activity of eupomatenoid-5, a compound isolated from leaves of Piper regnellii var. pallescens.

Research paper by Michele Cristina MC Vendrametto, Adriana Oliveira dos AO Santos, Celso Vataru CV Nakamura, Benedito Prado BP Dias Filho, Diógenes Aparício Garcia DA Cortez, Tânia T Ueda-Nakamura

Indexed on: 13 Jan '10Published on: 13 Jan '10Published in: Parasitology International


Infection with Leishmania spp. causes a disease with multifaceted clinical manifestations in humans. The treatment for leishmaniasis is dependent on a limited range of drugs. Here we investigated the antileishmanial activity of eupomatenoid-5, a neolignan isolated from leaves of Piper regnellii var. pallescens. We showed that eupomatenoid-5 had a dose-dependent activity during 72h of treatment, exhibiting IC(50) of 9.0microg/mL and 13.0microg/mL for promastigote and axenic amastigote forms, respectively, and IC(50) of 5.0microg/mL for intracellular amastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis. When L. amazonensis was treated with eupomatenoid-5, it underwent considerable ultrastructural alterations, as shown by transmission electron microscopy. Among the alterations was the appearance of intense exocytic activity in the region of the flagellar pocket, myelin-like figures, and vacuoles in the cytoplasm of parasites treated with 9.0microg/mL. Cells treated with 25.0microg/mL showed a very large structure, apparently an extension of the endoplasmic reticulum. Also, mitochondrial swelling was detected at this concentration, indicating damage and significant change in this organelle. A cytotoxicity assay showed that the action of the isolated compound is more specific for protozoa and it is not toxic to macrophages. Our studies indicated that eupomatenoid-5 might be a potential new drug for the treatment of leishmaniasis, because this compound displays interesting antileishmanial activity in vitro against promastigote, axenic amastigote, and intracellular amastigote forms of L. amazonensis.