Send to

Choose Destination
Parasitol Res. 2011 Apr;108(4):861-71. doi: 10.1007/s00436-010-2127-0. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Valeriana wallichii root extracts and fractions with activity against Leishmania spp.

Author information

Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 700032, India.


Leishmanial diseases, posing a public health problem worldwide, are caused by Leishmania parasites with a dimorphic life cycle alternating between the promastigote and amastigote forms. Promastigotes transmitted by the vector are transformed into amastigotes residing in the host tissue macrophages. Presently, new antiparasitic agents are needed against Leishmania donovani and Leishmania major, the respective organisms causing visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis, since the available treatments are unsatisfactory due to toxicity, high cost, and emerging drug resistance. Over the years, traditional medicinal flora throughout the world enriched the modern pharmacopeia. Hence, roots of 'Indian Valerian' (Valeriana wallichii DC) were studied for its antileishmanial activity for the first time. The methanol and chloroform extracts showed activity against L. donovani promastigotes and both promastigotes and amastigotes of L. major. The most active fraction, F3, obtained from the chloroform extract, showed IC(50) at ∼ 3-7 μg/ml against both the promastigotes and 0.3 μg/ml against L. major amastigotes. On investigation of the mechanism of cytotoxicity in L. donovani promastigotes, the 'hall-mark' events of morphological degeneration, DNA fragmentation, externalization of phosphatidyl serine, and mitochondrial membrane depolarization indicated that F3 could induce apoptotic death in leishmanial cells. Therefore, the present study revealed a novel and unconventional property of V. wallichii root as a prospective source of effective antileishmanial agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center