Treatment with triterpenic fraction purified from Baccharis uncinella leaves inhibits Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis spreading and improves Th1 immune response in infected mice
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The current medications used to treat leishmaniasis have many side effects for patients; in addition, some cases of the disease are refractory to treatment. Therefore, the search for new leishmanicidal compounds is indispensable. Recently, it was demonstrated that oleanolic- and ursolic-containing fraction from Baccharis uncinella leaves eliminated the promastigote and amastigote forms of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis and L. (Viannia) braziliensis without causing toxic effects for J774 macrophages. Thus, the aim of the present work was to characterize the therapeutic effect of the triterpenic fraction in L. (L.) amazonensis-infected BALB/c mice. Oleanolic- and ursolic acid-containing fraction was extracted from B. uncinella leaves using organic solvents and chromatographic procedures. L. (L.) amazonensis-infected BALB/c mice were treated intraperitoneally with triterpenic fraction during five consecutive days with 1.0 and 5.0 mg/kg of triterpenic fraction, or with 10.0 mg/kg of amphotericin B drug. Groups of mice treated with the triterpenic fraction, presented with decreased lesion size and low parasitism of the skin—both of which were associated with high amounts of interleukin-12 and interferon gamma. The curative effect of this fraction was similar to amphotericin B-treated mice; however, the final dose, required to eliminate amastigotes, was lesser than amphotericin B. Moreover, triterpenic fraction did not cause microscopic alterations in liver, spleen, heart, lung, and kidney of experimental groups. This work suggests that this fraction possesses compounds that are characterized by leishmanicidal and immunomodulatory activities. From this perspective, the triterpenic fraction can be explored as a new therapeutic agent for use against American Tegumentar Leishmaniasis.
KeywordsInfected Mouse Leishmaniasis Ursolic Acid Parasite Load Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
This work was supported by grant number 2012/03903-9 from the São Paulo Research Foundation and HCFMUSP-LIM50.
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