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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 985171, 7 pages
Research Article

Arrabidaea chica Hexanic Extract Induces Mitochondrion Damage and Peptidase Inhibition on Leishmania spp.

1Departamento de Produtos Naturais e Alimentos, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 219491-590 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Programa de Pós Graduação Ciências dos Alimentos, Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21941-590 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Embrapa Amazônia Ocidental, CP 319, 69010-970 Manaus, AM, Brazil
4Departamento de Microbiologia Geral, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Instituto de Microbiologia Paulo de Góes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21941-590 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 21 February 2014; Accepted 23 March 2014; Published 9 April 2014

Academic Editor: José Carlos Tavares Carvalho

Copyright © 2014 Igor A. Rodrigues et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Currently available leishmaniasis treatments are limited due to severe side effects. Arrabidaea chica is a medicinal plant used in Brazil against several diseases. In this study, we investigated the effects of 5 fractions obtained from the crude hexanic extract of A. chica against Leishmania amazonensis and L. infantum, as well as on the interaction of these parasites with host cells. Promastigotes were treated with several concentrations of the fractions obtained from A. chica for determination of their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). In addition, the effect of the most active fraction (B2) on parasite’s ultrastructure was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. To evaluate the inhibitory activity of B2 fraction on Leishmania peptidases, parasites lysates were treated with the inhibitory and subinhibitory concentrations of the B2 fraction. The minimum inhibitory concentration of B2 fraction was 37.2 and 18.6 μg/mL for L. amazonensis and L. infantum, respectively. Important ultrastructural alterations as mitochondrial swelling with loss of matrix content and the presence of vesicles inside this organelle were observed in treated parasites. Moreover, B2 fraction was able to completely inhibit the peptidase activity of promastigotes at pH 5.5. The results presented here further support the use of A. chica as an interesting source of antileishmanial agents.