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Pharm Biol. 2013 Jul;51(7):906-13. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2013.771191. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Phenolics-rich fraction of Khaya senegalensis stem bark: antitrypanosomal activity and amelioration of some parasite-induced pathological changes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.



The stem bark of Khaya senegalensis A. Juss (Meliaceae) is currently used for the treatment of trypanosomiasis by traditional practitioners in Nigeria.


The present study investigated the anti-Trypanosoma brucei brucei activity of phenolics-rich fraction of K. senegalensis (pfks) and its ameliorative effects on trypanosome-induced pathological changes.


The fraction was initially analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). A 60 min time course experiment was conducted with various concentrations of the fraction using a 96-well microtiter plate technique and was further used to treat T. brucei infected rats at 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight (BW). Indices of anemia as well as hepatic and renal functions were analyzed in all experimental animals at the end of the experiment.


The GC-MS analysis of the pfks revealed that the most abundant phytochemicals are phloroglucinol (40.56%) and 3,4-(dihydroxyphenyl) acetic acid (41.76%). The fraction showed a concentration dependent in vitro antitrypanosomal activity. Interestingly, the fraction completely eliminated the parasites from the bloodstream of infected rats without relapse during the experimental period at the dose of 300 mg/kg BW and also kept the parasites consistently lower at 100 and 200 mg/kg BW than that was recorded in the untreated infected rats. Furthermore, the severity of T. brucei-induced anemia and hepatic damage was significantly (p < 0.05) ameliorated in the 300 mg/kg BW treatment group whereas the parasite-induced renal damage was significantly (p < 0.05) ameliorated in all treatment groups.


Data from this study may suggest that phenolics play an important role in the antitrypanosomal activity of K. senegalensis.

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