The use of microfluorometric method for activity-guided isolation of antiplasmodial compound from plant extracts
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In vitro antiplasmodial activity of methanolic extracts of 16 medicinal plants was evaluated by fluorometric assay using PicoGreen. The IC50s, as determined by parasite DNA concentration, ranged from <11 to >200 and <13 to >200 μg/ml for Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 and K1, respectively; and the most active extracts were those from Anogeissus leiocarpus and Terminalia avicennoides (<11–≥14 μg/ml). Aqueous, butanolic, ethyl acetate, and methanolic fractions of these two extracts revealed butanolic fraction to have a relatively better activity (IC50, 10–12 μg/ml). Activity-guided chromatographic separation of the butanolic fraction on Sephadex LH-20 followed by nuclear magnetic resonance and correlation high-performance liquid chromatography revealed the presence of known hydrolysable tannins and some related compounds—castalagin, ellagic acid, flavogallonic acid, punicalagin, terchebulin, and two other fractions. The IC50s of all these compounds ranged between 8–21 μg/ml (8–40 μM) against both the strains. Toxicity assay with mouse fibroblasts showed all the extracts and isolated compounds to have IC50 ≥ 1500 μg/ml, except for Momordica balsamina with <1500 μg/l. All the extracts and isolated compounds did not affect the integrity of human erythrocyte membrane at the observed IC50s. However, adverse effects manifest in a concentration-dependent fashion (from IC50 ≥ 500 μg/ml).