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In Vitro and In Vivo Antimalarial Activity Assays of Seeds from Balanites aegyptiaca: Compounds of the Extract Show Growth Inhibition and Activity against Plasmodial Aminopeptidase

DOI: 10.1155/2011/368692

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Balanites aegyptiaca (Balanitaceae) is a widely grown desert plant with multiuse potential. In the present paper, a crude extract from B. aegyptiaca seeds equivalent to a ratio of 1?:?2000 seeds to the extract was screened for antiplasmodial activity. The determined IC50 value for the chloroquine-susceptible Plasmodium falciparum NF54 strain was 68.26? . Analysis of the extract by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry detected 6-phenyl-2(H)-1,2,4-triazin-5-one oxime, an inhibitor of the parasitic M18 Aspartyl Aminopeptidase as one of the compounds which is responsible for the in vitro antiplasmodial activity. The crude plant extract had a of 2.35? and showed a dose-dependent response. After depletion of the compound, a significantly lower inhibition was determined with a of 4.8? . Moreover, two phenolic compounds, that is, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-phenol and 2,4-di-tert-butyl-phenol, with determined IC50 values of 50.29? and 47.82? , respectively, were detected. These compounds may contribute to the in vitro antimalarial activity due to their antioxidative properties. In an in vivo experiment, treatment of BALB/c mice with the aqueous Balanite extract did not lead to eradication of the parasites, although a reduced parasitemia at day 12 p.i. was observed. 1. Introduction Traditional medicine is still the first point of healthcare for many people in sub-Saharan Africa, where there has been a long and rich tradition of obtaining treatments from herbs and trees. In the case of malaria, Africa’s traditional healers use hundreds of indigenous plants for remedies. Until the 1950s, when synthetic chemistry began to dominate drug research and development (R and D) efforts, most drugs developed and registered in the pharmacopoeia were in fact based on natural products. Plant alkaloids, quinine among them, were the first components of natural herbal remedies to be extracted and refined for more effective use in the early 19th century. Some 150 years later, quinine is still used as front-line therapy for severe malaria, even if it is not the recommended drug for this use when artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) are available. In this context, it seems to be quite surprising that no African lead has emerged so far. Meanwhile, there are efforts to assess plant remedies against malaria for their application in health care systems [1]. B. aegyptiaca (L.) (Balanitaceae) is a woody tree growing in various ecological conditions (from 100?mm to 1000?mm annual rainfall), but mainly distributed in semiarid and arid zones in tropical Africa [2]. This tree reaches 10?m (33?ft)


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