Variation of leishmanicidal activity in four populations of Urechites andrieuxii

Manuel Jesús Chan-Bacab, Elfride Balanza, Eric Deharo, Victoria Muñoz Ortiz, Rafael Durán García, Luis Manuel Peña-Rodríguez

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29 Scopus citations


Urechites andrieuxii Muell.-Arg. (Apocynaceae) is widely used in the Yucatan Peninsula for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis. The influence of the environment in the variability of the leishmanicidal activity of the plant was evaluated using crude methanol extracts of roots from individuals belonging to four natural populations growing in the Yucatan Peninsula. The results of the growth inhibition test using three Leishmania spp. promastigotes showed a stronger leishmanicidal activity in populations of U. andrieuxii growing in more humid environments. Further evaluation against four human cancer cell lines and in the brine shrimp bioassay of both extracts from various parts of the plant and from the most active methanol root extracts, suggested that while the leaf extract appears to have selective toxicity against Leishmania parasites, the strong leishmanicidal activity detected in the root extracts of the plant might be due to its cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present work received support from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologı́a (CONACYT, México), Programa Iberoamericano de Ciencia y Tecnologı́a para el Desarrollo (CYTED, Subprograma X de Quı́mica Fina Farmacéutica) and Universidad Autónoma de Campeche (UAC). Cytotoxicity tests were carried out in the Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Xochitepec, Morelos, by Dr. Marı́a Luisa Villarreal Ortega. We also thank Dr. Rogelio Pereda Miranda (Departamento de Farmacia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) for his valuable advise while carrying out this study.


  • Apocynaceae
  • Artemia salina
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Leishmania spp.
  • Leishmanicidal activity
  • Urechites andrieuxii


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