Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 750–757 | Cite as

Lactone-rich fraction from Vernonia blumeoides: antitrypanosomal activity and alleviation of the parasite-induced anemia and organ damage

  • M. A. IbrahimEmail author
  • A. B. Aliyu
  • H. Abdullahi
  • T. Solomon
  • E. Toko
  • A. Garba
  • M. Bashir
  • N. Habila
Original Paper


The anti-Trypanosoma brucei brucei activity in vitro and in vivo of a lactone-rich fraction of Vernonia blumeoides leaves (VBLF) and its potential in alleviating trypanosome-induced anemia and organ damage were investigated. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis of VBLF revealed the presence of a number of lactone-containing compounds. In an in vitro study, VBLF showed concentration-dependent activity and was further used to treat T. brucei brucei-infected rats. The VBLF treatments, especially at 300 mg/kg body weight (BW), significantly (P < 0.05) kept the parasites reduced during the entire experimental period compared with the infected untreated group. At the end of the experiment, the trypanosome-induced anemia and hepatic damage were significantly (P < 0.05) alleviated in all the VBLF treatment groups, but renal damage was only prevented in the 200 and 300 mg/kg BW treatment groups. Furthermore, the trypanosome-induced increase in the relative weights of liver, spleen and kidney were significantly (P < 0.05) alleviated by the 300 mg/kg BW VBLF treatment. It was concluded that orally administered VBLF, especially at 300 mg/kg BW, possessed antitrypanosomal activity and could alleviate parasite-induced anemia and organ damage.


Anemia Antitrypanosomal activity Organ damage Lactones Vernoniablumeoides 



The authors are grateful to Dr. I.D. Jatau and Mr Neal Broomhead for their technical assistance.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.


  1. 1.
    Welburn SC, Coleman PG, Maudlin I, Fevre EM, Odiit M, Eisler MC (2006) Crisis, what crisis? Control of Rhodesian sleeping sickness. Trends Parasitol 22:123–128PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aksoy S (2003) Control of tsetse flies and trypanosomes using molecular genetics. Vet Parasitol 115:125–145PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Umar IA, Wuro-Chekke AU, Gidado A, Igbokwe IO (1999) Effects of combined parenteral vitamin C and E administration on the severity of anemia, hepatic and renal damage in Trypanosoma brucei infected rabbits. Vet Parasitol 85:43–47PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Umar IA, Ene O, Okodaso D, Kimeng E, Stancheva G, Omage JJ, Isah S, Ibrahim MA (2007) Amelioration of anemia and organ damage by combined intraperitoneal administration of vitamins A and C to Trypanosoma brucei brucei infected rats. Afr J Biotechnol 6:2083–2086Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibrahim MA, Aliyu AB, Sallau AB, Bashir M, Yunusa I, Umar TS (2010) Senna occidentalis leaf extract possesses antitrypanosomal activity and ameliorates the trypanosome-induced anemia and organ damage. Pharmacognosy Res 2:175–180PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ogbadoyi EO, Abdulganiy AO, Adama TZ, Okogun JI (2007) In vivo trypanocidal activity of Annona senegalensis Pers leaf extract against Trypanosoma brucei brucei. J Ethnopharmacol 112:85–89PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nibret E, Ashour ML, Rubanza CD, Wink M (2010) Screening of some Tanzanian medicinal plants for their trypanocidal and cytotoxic activities. Phytother Res 24:945–947PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    van Wyk BE (2008) A broad review of commercially important southern African plants. J Ethnopharmacol 119:342–355PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Koehn FE, Carter GT (2005) The evolving role of natural products in drug discovery. Nat Rev Drug Discov 4:206–220PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rabe T, Mullholland D, van Staden J (2002) Isolation and identification of antibacterial compounds from Vernonia colorata leaves. J Ethnopharmacol 80:91–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Williams RB, Norris A, Slebodnick C, Merola J, Miller JS, Andriantsiferana R, Rasamison VE, Kingston DGI (2005) Cytotoxic sesquiterpene lactones from Vernonia pachyclada from the Madagascar rainforest. J Nat Prod 68:1371–1374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sulsen VP, Frank FM, Cazorla SI, Anesini AC, Malchiodi EL, Freixa B, Vila R, Muschietti LV, Martino VS (2008) Trypanocidal and leishmanicidal activities of sesquiterpene lactones from Ambrosia tenuifolia Sprengel (Asteraceae). Antimicrob Agents Chemother 52:2415–2419PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bittencourt NLR, Nakamura TN, Filho BP, Nakamura CV (2011) Antitrypanosomal activity of a semi-purified subfraction rich in labdane sesquiterpenes obtained from flowers of Anthemis tinctoria, against Trypanosoma cruzi. Pharmacol Pharm 2:47–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lee KH, Anuforo DC, Huang ES, Piantadosi C (1972) Antitumor agents. I. Augustibalin, a new cytotoxic sesquiterpene lactone from Balduina angustifolia (Pursh.) Robins. J Pharm Sci 61:626–628PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Atawodi SE, Alafiatayo AA (2007) Assessment of the phytochemical and antitrypanosomal properties of some extracts of leaves, stem and root bark of Landolphia sp., P. Beauv. J Ethnopharmacol 114:207–211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Herbert WJ, Lumsden WHR (1976) Trypanosoma brucei: a rapid “matching” method for estimating the host’s parasitemia. Exp Parasitol 40:427–431PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bizimana N, Tietjen U, Zessin K, Diallo D, Djibril C, Melzig MF, Clausen P (2006) Evaluation of medicinal plants from Mali for their in vitro and in vivo trypanocidal activity. J Ethnopharmacol 103:350–356PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Habila N, Humphrey NC, Abel AS (2011) Trypanocidal potentials of Azadirachta indica seeds towards Trypanosoma evansi. Vet Parasitol 180:173–178PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Abiodun OO, Gbotosho GO, Ajaiyeoba EO, Brun R, Oduola AM (2012) Antitrypanosomal activity of some medicinal plants from Nigerian ethnomedicine. Parasitol Res 110:521–526PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kaminsky F, Nkuna MHN, Brun R (2006) Evaluation of African medicinal plants for their in vitro trypanocidal activity. J Ethnopharmacol 55:1–11Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Luo X, Jiang Y, Fronczek FR, Lin C, Izevbigie EB, Lee KS (2011) Isolation and structure determination of a sesquiterpene lactone (vernodalinol) from Vernonia amygdalina extracts. Pharm Biol 49:464–470PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Barrett SV, Barrett MP (2000) Anti-sleeping sickness drug and cancer chemotherapy. Parasitol Today 16:7–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ma G, Li Chong, Li Zuqiang, Cheung AHT, Tattersall MHN (2009) Anti cancer activities of sesquiterpene lactones from Cyathocline purpurea in vitro. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 64:143–152PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Saleh MA, Al-Salahy MB, Sanousi SA (2009) Oxidative stress in blood of camels (Camelus dromedaries) naturally infected with Trypanosoma evansi. Vet Parasitol 162:192–199PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Umar IA, Maryoms NG, Daikwo E, Gidado A, Buratai LB, Igbokwe IO, Ibrahim MA (2009) The effects of consumption of Hibiscus sabdariffa calyces on heamatological profile and organ pathological changes in Trypanosoma congolense infected rats. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med 6:585–591PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Umar IA, Rumah BL, Bulus SL, Kamla AA, Jobin A, Asueliman BI, Mazai MH, Ibrahim MA, Isah S (2008) Effects of intraperitoneal administration of vitamins C and E or A and E combinations on the severity of Trypanosoma brucei brucei infection in rats. Afr J Biochem Res 2:088–091Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kanashiro A, Kabeya LM, Grael CF, Jordao CO, Azzolini AE, Lopes JL, Lucisano-Valim YM (2006) Sesquiterpene lactones from Lychnophora pohlii: neutrophil chemiluminescence inhibition and free radical scavenger activity. J Pharm Pharmacol 58:853–858PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Tang WZ, Liu YB, Yu SS, Qu J, Su DM (2007) New sesquiterpene lactones and neolignan glycosides with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities from the fruits of Illicium oligandrum. Planta Med 73:484–490PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Ibrahim
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. B. Aliyu
    • 2
  • H. Abdullahi
    • 1
  • T. Solomon
    • 1
  • E. Toko
    • 1
  • A. Garba
    • 1
  • M. Bashir
    • 1
  • N. Habila
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryAhmadu Bello UniversityZariaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryAhmadu Bello UniversityZariaNigeria

Personalised recommendations