• RODRÍGUEZ A OSCAR E Department of Universidad El Bosque (CHOC-IZONE), Bogotá, Colombia.
  • TORRENEGRA G RUBÉN D Department of Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas y Ambientales (UDCA), Bogotá, Colombia, (PRONAUDCA).
  • POMBO O LUIS M Fundación Universitaria Juan N. Corpas (GIFVTA), Bogotá, Colombia.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the activity against amastigotes of Leishmania panamensis and epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas), extracts and fractions obtained from leaves and stems of Muehlenbeckia tamnifolia.

Methods: Plant material was collected during the flowering, in the town of La Calera (Cundinamarca), at a height of 2746 m above sea level, 4°43’11”N, 3°58’12”W. Leaves and stems were extracted with light petroleum and then with ethanol. The extracts were fractionated by column chromatography on silica gel with petrol; CH2Cl2, AcOEt, and MeOH. The activity against epimastigotes and cytotoxicity was evaluated by the enzymatic micromethod with MTT. The active extracts against epimastigotes and with low cytotoxicity were also evaluated in trypomastigotes and intracellular amastigotes.

Results: The dichloromethane fraction from leaves and stems of M. tamnifolia showed the highest activity against Leishmania panamensis with an 50% of the effective concentration of 0.006 (μg/ml) and a selectivity index of 4.16. In U937 cells, six of the extracts and fractions tested showed high cytotoxicity, 50 inhibitory concentration <50 μg/ml.

Conclusions: The extracts obtained from leaves and stems of different polarities of M. tamnifolia (Kunth) Meins, revealed a moderate effect against amastigotes of L. panamensis (Leishmaniosis) (low polarity fractions) and a low effect against epimastigotes of T. cruzi (Chagas).

Keywords: Muehlenbeckia tamnifolia,, Trypanocidal activity,, Leishmanicidal activity,, Natural products.


1. Arévalo Y, Robledo S, Muñoz DL, Granados-Falla D, Cuca LE, Delgado G. Evaluación in vitro de la actividad de aceites esenciales de plantas colombianas sobre Leishmania braziliensis. Rev Colomb Cienc Quím Farm 2009;38:131-41.
2. Desjeux P. Leishmaniasis: Situación actual y nuevas perspectivas. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2004;27:305-18.
3. WHO. Control of the Leishmaniases: Report of a Meeting of the WHO Expert Committee on the Control of Leishmaniases. Geneva: WHO Technical Report Series; No. 949; 2010. p. 186.
4. Valencia L, Muñoz D, Robledo S, Echeverri F, Arango G, Vélez I, et al. Actividad tripanocida y citotóxica de extractos de plantas colombianas. Biomédica 2011;31:552-9.
5. Guhl F, Lazdins-Held J. Grupo de Trabajo Científico Sobre la Enfermedad de Chagas. Geneva: Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases; 2007. p. 5-31.
6. Phillipson JD, Wright CW. Medicinal plants against protozoal diseases. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1991;85:155-65.
7. Kayser O, Kinderlen AF, Croft SL. Natural products as antiparasitic drugs. Parasitol Res 2003;90:55-62.
8. Weniger B, Robledo S, Arango GJ, Deharo E, Aragón R, Muñoz V, et al. Antiprotozoal activities of Colombian plants. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;78:193-200.
9. Vasas A, Orbán-Gyapai O, Hohmann J. The genus Rumex: Revisión de usos tradicionales, fitoquímica y farmacología. J Ethnopharmacol 2015;175:198-228.
10. Burnie G, Forrester S, Greig D. Botánica Guía Ilustrada de Plantas: Más de 10000 Especies de la A la Z y Cómo Cultivarlas. Hong Kong: Konemann; 2006. p. 1020.
11. De la Torre L, Navarrete H, Muriel MP, Macia MJ, Balslev H. Enciclopedia de las Plantas Útiles del Ecuador; Herbario QCA and Herbario AAU: Quito, Ecuador: Aarhus; 2008. p. 947.
12. Mojica BJ, Torrenegra RD, Pombo LM, Cadavid V, Rodríguez OE. Anti-inflammatory effect of the hydroalcoholic extract of Muehlenbeckia tamnifolia (Kunth) meins leaves in a rat paw model. Pharmacologyonline 2017;3:13-22.
13. Torres-Naranjo M, Suárez A, Gilardoni G, Cartuche L, Flores P, Morocho V, et al. Chemical constituents of Muehlenbeckia tamnifolia (Kunth) meisn (Polygonaceae) and its in vitro ?-amilase and ?-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Molecules 2016;21:1-10.
14. Pablo M, Lilia G, Judith H, Carmela G. Anthraquinone pigments in Muehlenbeckia tamnifolia and Muehlenbeckia vulcanica. Politecnica 1973;3:111-22.
15. Robledo SM, Valencia AZ, Saravia NG. Sensitivity to glucantime of Leishmania viannia isolated from patients prior to treatment. J Parasitol 1999;85:360-6.
16. Rey JA, Travi BL, Valencia AZ, Saravia NG. Infectivity of the subspecies of the Leishmania braziliensis complex in vivo and in vitro. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1990;43:623-31.
17. Finney DJ. Probity Analysis. London: Cambridge Press Londres; 1964. p. 318.
18. Sereno D, Lemesre JL. Use of an enzymatic micromethod to quantify amastigote stage of Leishmania amazonensis in vitro. Parasitol Res 1997;83:401-3.
19. Rocha LG, Almeida JR, Macêdo RO, Barbosa-Filho JM. A review of natural products with antileishmanial activity. Phytomedicine 2005;12:514-35.
20. Rodríguez OE, Torrrenegra RD, Beltrán AS, Matulevich JA, Castrillon WF. Metabolitos de baja polaridad en hojas de Muehlenbeckia tamnifolia (Kunth) meisn. Rev Tecnol 2014;13:95-108.
21. Das A, Jawed JJ, Das MC, Sandhu P, Manash C, Das PS, et al. Antileishmanial and immunomodulatory activities of lupeol, a triterpene compound isolated from Sterculia villosa. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2017;50:512-22.
22. Kar N, Ghosh S, Kumari L, Chakraborty S, Bera T. Search for new antileishmanial chemotherapeutics. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2018;10:46-2. Available from: [Last accessed on 2019 May 22].
23. Kaur R, Kaur J, Kaur S, Joshi J. Evaluation of the antileishmanial efficacy of medicinal plant Chenopodium album Linn. Against experimental visceral leishmaniasis. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2016;8:227-31. Available from: [Last accessed on 2019 May 22].
285 Views | 76 Downloads
How to Cite
RODRÍGUEZ A OSCAR E, TORRENEGRA G RUBÉN D, and POMBO O LUIS M. “TRYPANOCIDAL, ANTI-LEISHMANIAL, AND CYTOTOXIC ACTIVITY OF MUEHLENBECKIA TAMNIFOLIA (KUNTH) MEINS (POLYGONACEAE)”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol. 12, no. 7, May 2019, pp. 208-11, doi:10.22159/ajpcr.2019.v12i7.33790.
Original Article(s)