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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 940531, 11 pages
Research Article

Eupomatenoid-5 Isolated from Leaves of Piper regnellii Induces Apoptosis in Leishmania amazonensis

1Programa de Pós Graduação em Ciências Biológicas, Laboratório de Inovação Tecnológica no Desenvolvimento de Fármacos e Cosméticos, Bloco B-08, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil
2Programa de Pós Graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil

Received 15 January 2013; Accepted 26 February 2013

Academic Editor: William Setzer

Copyright © 2013 Francielle Pelegrin Garcia 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.


Leishmania spp. are protozoa responsible for leishmaniasis, a neglected disease that kills up to 50,000 people every year. Current therapies mainly rely on antimonial drugs that are inadequate because of their poor efficacy and safety and increased drug resistance. An urgent need exists to find new and more affordable drugs. Our previous study demonstrated the antileishmanial activity of eupomatenoid-5, a neolignan obtained from leaves of Piper regnellii var. pallescens. The aim of the present study was to clarify the mode of action of eupomatenoid-5 against L. amazonensis. We used biochemical and morphological techniques and demonstrated that eupomatenoid-5 induced cell death in L. amazonensis promastigotes, sharing some phenotypic features observed in metazoan apoptosis, including increased reactive oxygen species production, hypopolarization of mitochondrial potential, phosphatidylserine exposure, decreased cell volume, and G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest.