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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 412437, 5 pages
Research Article

Acute Toxicity and Determination of the Active Constituents of Aqueous Extract of Uncaria tomentosa Bark in Hyphessobrycon eques

1Aquaculture Center of UNESP, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil
2Department of Veterinary Pathology, School of Agrarian and Veterinary Sciences, São Paulo State University (UNESP), 14884-900 Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil
3Weed Science Environmental Research Studies Centre of UNESP, University Estadual Paulista, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil
4Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 5 November 2013; Accepted 16 January 2014; Published 6 March 2014

Academic Editor: Robert Luebke

Copyright © 2014 Jefferson Yunis Aguinaga 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.


Uncaria tomentosa is a medicinal plant used in folk medicine by Amazon tribes. In this study the constituents of aqueous extract of U. tomentosa bark were quantified by chromatographic technique and its lethal concentration 50 (48 h) in Hyphessobrycon eques was determined. The chromatography showed high levels of oxindole alkaloids, quinovic acid glycosides, and low molecular weight polyphenols. The CL50 48 h was 1816 mg/L. Fish showed behavior changes at concentrations above 2000 mg/L, accompanied by a significant decrease of dissolved oxygen. At the highest concentration 100% mortality was observed attributed to oxygen reduction by the amount of oxindole alkaloids, polyphenols accumulation of the extract in the gills, and the interaction of these compounds with dopamine. In conclusion, the aqueous extract of U. tomentosa did not alter the chemical components and it was shown that U. tomentosa has low toxicity to H. eques; therefore, it can be used safely in this species.