In vitro immunomodulatory activity of plants used by the Tacana ethnic group in Bolivia

E. Deharo, R. Baelmans, Alberto José Gimenez Turba, C. Quenevo, G. Bourdy

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48 Scopus citations


One hundred and seventy-eight ethanolic plant extracts from the pharmacopoeia of the Tacana, an ethnic group from Bolivia, were screened for immunomodulatory activity using complement cascade inhibition and ADP-induced platelet aggregation inhibition assays. Six impaired both complement pathways (classical and alternative): stem bark from Astronium urundeuvea (Anacardiaceae), Cochlospermum vitifolium (Cochlospermaceae), Terminalia amazonica (Combretaceae), Triplaris americana (Polygonaceae), Uncaria tomentosa (Rubiaceae) and Euterpe precatoria (Arecaceae) roots. Inhibition of complement cascade was independent of essential ion complexation, and was not due to direct hemolytic activity on target red blood cells. For A. urundeuvea, C. vitifolium, and T. amazonica, anti-inflammatory activity relied on cyclo-oxygenase inhibition. Four of these species (A. urundeuva, T. americana, U. tomentosa and E. precatoria) are used traditionally to treat inflammatory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project was financed by the International Foundation for Science, the Fondo Nacional del Medio Ambiente (FONAMA, Cuenta iniciativas para las Américas EIA), the Organisación de los Estados Americanos (O.E.A. programa Flora Regional) and IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement). The authors wish to thank Rosy Chávez de Michel and the National Herbarium of Bolivia for help in the management and determination of voucher herbarium specimens. We express our thanks to the members of the Tacana community, who were willing to share with us their knowledge about plants.


  • Anti-inflammatory activity
  • Bolivia
  • Human complement system
  • Immunomodulation
  • Platelet aggregation
  • Tacana
  • Traditional medicine


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