Species of genus Maytenus represents promising sources of bioactive compounds, mainly pentacyclic triterpenes of medicinal interest. The properties of crude extracts and three known triterpenes obtained from branches and roots of Maytenus gonoclada, against Entamoeba histolytica and human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 (myeloid leukemia), and Jurkat (lymphocytic leukemia) cells were in vitro evaluated. For crude extracts, lupeol and 3-oxo-11α-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene activity were not observed against E. histolytica, and neither against leukemic cells. Nevertheless, in relation to tingenone considerable biological effect was detected. The cytotoxic effect of tingenone was evaluated upon human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The cytotoxic dose showed higher efficacy, compared to the other assays. The present study signalizes the importance of tingenone, as well as its use in the production of derivatives with potential antiparasitic and antitumoral properties.
Key words: Maytenus gonoclada, anti-Entamoeba histolytica activity, anti-leukemic cells activity.
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