Korean J Parasitol.  2017 Jun;55(3):337-340. 10.3347/kjp.2017.55.3.337.

Evaluation of Boldine Activity against Intracellular Amastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis

  • 1Laboratório de Parasitos e Vetores (LAPAV), Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Campus Universitário do Araguaia, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Avenida Valdon Varjão, 6390 - Barra do Garças, Mato Grosso, CEP 78600-000, Brazil. warrais@ufs.br
  • 2Departamento de Morfologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Avenida Marechal Rondon, S/N - Jardim Rosa Elze - São Cristóvão, SE, CEP 49100-000, Brazil.


Leishmaniasis is a neglected and endemic disease that affects poorest population mainly in developing countries. A lack of adequate and definitive chemotherapeutic agents to fight against this infection has led to the investigation of numerous compounds. The aim of this study was to investigate in vitro activity of boldine against Leishmania amazonensis murine cell infection. Boldine ((S)-2,9-dihydroxy-1,10-dimethoxy-aporphine) is an aporphine alkaloid found abundantly in the leaves/bark of boldo (Peumus boldus Molina), a widely distributed tree native to Chile. The in vitro system consisted of murine macrophage infection with amastigotes of L. amazonensis treated with different concentrations from 50 to 600 μg/ml of boldine for 24 hr. Intracellular parasite destruction was assessed by morphological examination and boldine cytotoxicity to macrophages was tested by the MTT viability assay. When cells were treated with 100 μg/ml of boldine the reduction of parasite infection was 81% compared with untreated cultures cells. Interestingly, boldine-treatment caused a concentration-dependent decrease of macrophage infection that culminated with 96% of reduction when cells were submitted to 600 μg/ml of boldine. Cell cultures exposed to 100 μg/ml of boldine and 300 μg/ml of Glucantime® during 24 hr showed a significant reduction of 50% in parasitized cells compared with cell cultures exposed just to Glucantime®. The study showed that treatment with boldine produces a better effect than treatment with the reference antimonial drug, glucantime, in L. amazonensis infected macrophage. Our results suggest that boldine is a potentially useful agent for the treatment of leishmaniasis.


Leishmania amazonensis; anti-parasitic activity; boldo; neglected disease
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