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Acta Trop. 1992 Apr; 50(4): 331-8.

Inhibition of the growth of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei in vitro by an extract of Cochlospermum angolense (Welw.).

Presber W, Hegenscheid B, Hernandez-Alvarez H, Herrmann D, Brendel C.

Institute of Medical Microbiology, Humboldt University, Berlin, F.R.G.

An extract of Cochlospermum angolense (Welw.) is used in the traditional medicine of Angola for the therapy of icterus and for the prophylaxis of malaria. From the roots of this plant red crystalline substances have been isolated and tested for their effect on Plasmodium falciparum in vitro and on the DNA and protein synthesis of Plasmodium berghei. The multiplication of P. falciparum was decreased to 50% of the control in the presence of 10 micrograms/ml extracted material and there was a total inhibition at a concentration of 50 micrograms/ml. If mice erythrocytes infected by P. berghei were incubated for 6 h with 25 micrograms/ml of the extract DNA synthesis was depressed to nearly background level. And, even more important, this effect could be demonstrated immediately. On the contrary, protein synthesis continued for at least 90 min at a reduced rate and stopped then. The results obtained show the direct antiparasitic effect of the substances extracted from C. angolense. The activity seems to be directed against DNA synthesis.

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