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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3126458, 12 pages
Research Article

Platonia insignis Mart., a Brazilian Amazonian Plant: The Stem Barks Extract and Its Main Constituent Lupeol Exert Antileishmanial Effects Involving Macrophages Activation

1Medicinal Plants Research Center, Federal University of Piauí, SG-15, Ininga, 64049-550 Teresina, PI, Brazil
2Laboratory of Natural Products, Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Piauí, SG-02, Ininga, 64049-550 Teresina, PI, Brazil
3Department of Biophysics and Pharmacology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Klinger Antonio da Franca Rodrigues

Received 4 April 2017; Revised 14 June 2017; Accepted 10 July 2017; Published 9 August 2017

Academic Editor: Victor Kuete

Copyright © 2017 Adriana Cunha Souza 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.


Platonia insignis Mart., popularly known as “bacurizeiro,” is used in traditional medical practices based on its diverse biological properties. This study was aimed at evaluating the antileishmanial effects of the ethanol extract (EtOH-Ext), hexane fraction (Hex-F), and its main isolated Lupeol obtained from stem barks of P. insignis against Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis, as well as their cytotoxicity and possible mechanisms of action. The EtOH-Ext, Hex-F, and Lupeol inhibited the growth of L. amazonensis promastigote forms at IC50 of 174.24, 45.23, and 39.06 µg/mL, respectively, as well as L. amazonensis axenic amastigote forms at IC50 of 40.58, 35.87, and 44.10 µg/mL, respectively. The mean cytotoxic concentrations for macrophages (CC50) were higher than those for amastigotes (341.95, 71.65, and 144.0 µg/mL, resp.), indicating a selective cytotoxicity towards the parasite rather than the macrophages. Interestingly, all treatments promoted antileishmanial effect against macrophage-internalized amastigotes at concentrations lower than CC50. Furthermore, increases of lysosomal volume of macrophages treated with EtOH-Ext, Hex-F, and Lupeol were observed. On the other hand, only Lupeol stimulated increase of phagocytic capability of macrophages, suggesting this compound might be characterized as the biomarker for the antileishmanial effect of P. insignis stem bark, as well as the involvement of immunomodulatory mechanisms in this effect.