Phytochemical analysis and antileishmanial activity of Desmotes incomparabilis, an endemic plant from Panama
Due to limited available medicine, the resistance to currently available treatment against tropical diseases, and as part of the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG – Panama), Desmotes incomparabilis (Riley) Kallunki (Rutaceae) was selected to study based on its potential activity against the tropical disease leishmaniasis. D. incomparabilis is an endemic plant from Coiba Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Pacific Coast of the Republic of Panama. The organic extract (IC50=26µg/mL) from the mature leaves of D. incomparbilis was fractionated by VLC. The resulting fractions were subsequently tested against Leishmania donovani; one fraction exhibited high activity (IC50=1µg/mL). Bioassay-guided fractionation led to the isolation of two inactive flavonoids along with three different furoquinoline alkaloids; one of these showed an activity of 2µg/mL (2). Furoquinoline alkaloids have been previously shown to be active against parasitic disease.
Acknowledgements: Funding comes from the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups Program (grant no. 1U01 TW006634–01) from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture.