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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2007 Jun;102(3):359-65.

In vitro inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum by substances isolated from Amazonian antimalarial plants.

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Laboratório de Biologia da Malária e Toxoplasmose, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN, Brasil.


In the present study, a quassinoid, neosergeolide, isolated from the roots and stems of Picrolemma sprucei (Simaroubaceae), the indole alkaloids ellipticine and aspidocarpine, isolated from the bark of Aspidosperma vargasii and A. desmanthum (Apocynaceae), respectively, and 4-nerolidylcatechol, isolated from the roots of Pothomorphe peltata (Piperaceae), all presented significant in vitro inhibition (more active than quinine and chloroquine) of the multi-drug resistant K1 strain of Plasmodium falciparum. Neosergeolide presented activity in the nanomolar range. This is the first report on the antimalarial activity of these known, natural compounds. This is also the first report on the isolation of aspidocarpine from A. desmanthum. These compounds are good candidates for pre-clinical tests as novel lead structures with the aim of finding new antimalarial prototypes and lend support to the traditional use of the plants from which these compounds are derived.

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