Author(s): Misra P, Kumar A, Khare P, Gupta S, Kumar N,
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Abstract In the absence of effective and safe treatment for visceral leishmaniasis or Kala-azar - a devastating parasitic disease caused by Leishmania donovani - the search for anti-leishmanial agents from natural resources in common use is imperative. Recently, the comparative in vitro anti-leishmanial activity of methanolic extracts from two landraces of Piper betle - P. betle landrace Bangla Mahoba (PB-BM) and P. betle landrace Kapoori Vellaikodi (PB-KV) - has been reported. Here, the putative pathway responsible for death induced by the effective extract of PB-BM methanolic extract in promastigotes, as well as the intracellular amastigote form of L. donovani, was assessed using various biochemical approaches. It was found that PB-BM was capable of selectively inhibiting both stages of Leishmania parasites by accelerating apoptotic events by generation of reactive oxygen species targeting the mitochondria without any cytotoxicity towards macrophages. The study was extended to determine the presence or absence of activity of the methanolic extract of PB-BM and PB-KV on the basis of differences in essential oil composition present in the extract assessed by GC and MS. The essential oil from PB-BM was found to be rich in eugenol compared with that from PB-KV. The anti-leishmanial efficacy of PB-BM methanolic extract mediated through apoptosis is probably due to the higher content of eugenol in the active landrace. This observation emphasizes the need to extend studies related to traditional medicines from bioactive plants below the species level to the gender/landrace level for better efficacy and reproducibility.
This article was published in J Med Microbiol
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta