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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 615454, 9 pages
Research Article

Insights on the Phytochemical Profile (Cyclopeptides) and Biological Activities of Calotropis procera Latex Organic Fractions

1Departamento de Bioquímica e Biologia Molecular, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Av. Humberto Monte, Campus do Pici, 60451-970 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
2Departamento de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Avenue Coronel Nunes de Melo, 1127, Rodolfo Teófilo, 60430-270 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
3Curso de Farmácia, Universidade de Fortaleza, Avenue Washington Soares, 1321, Bloco F, Edson Queiroz, 60811-905 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

Received 16 August 2013; Accepted 27 September 2013

Academic Editors: A. K. Kiemer and J. Shiea

Copyright © 2013 Thiago Lustosa Jucá 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.


Calotropis procera is a medicinal plant whose pharmacological properties are associated with its latex. Here, the Calotropis procera latex fractions were investigated in an attempt to trace its phytochemical profile and measure its anti-inflammatory and toxicity activity. The crude latex was partitioned, yielding five fractions (49.4% hexane, 5.2% dichloromethane, 2.0% ethyl acetate, 2.1% n-butanol, and 41.1% aqueous). Phytochemical screening and spectroscopy analysis revealed that dichloromethane is the most chemically diverse fraction. Triterpenes were detected in both the hexane and dichloromethane fractions, while flavonoids were detected in the dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions. These fractions were cytotoxic to cancer cell lines (LD50 0.05 to 3.9 μg/mL) and lethal to brine shrimp (LD50 10.9 to 65.7 μg/mL). Reduced neutrophil migration in rats was observed in carrageenan-induced peritonitis for the dichloromethane (67%), ethyl acetate (56%), and aqueous (72%) fractions. A positive reaction with tolidine and ninhydrin suggested that cyclopeptides are in the ethyl acetate fraction. It is therefore concluded that Calotropis procera latex dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions exhibit both in vitro and in vivo activities as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Cyclopeptide detection is especially interesting because previous attempts to investigate these low-molecular cyclic amino acid sequences in C. procera have failed.