Planta Med 1989; 55(2): 140-143
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-961907

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Taspine is the Cicatrizant Principle in Sangre de Grado Extracted from Croton lechleri*

Abraham J. Vaisberg1 , Marcos Milla1 , Maria del Carmen Planas1 , Jose L. Cordova1 , Elva Rosas de Agusti2 , Ramon Ferreyra3 , Maria del Carmen Mustiga1 , Lily Carlin1 , Gerald B. Hammond4 , 5
  • 1Department of Microbiology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Apartado 5045, Lima 1, Peru
  • 2Department of Pathology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Apartado 5045, Lima 1, Peru
  • 3Museo de Historia Natural Javier Prado, Apartado 140434, Lima 100, Peru
  • 4Department of Chemistry, Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Apartado 1761, Lima 32, Peru
  • 5Department of Chemistry, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA
* This work was presented at the First Congress of the Sociedad Latinoamericana de Fitoquimica. Montevideo, Uruguay. November 1987
Further Information

Publication History


Publication Date:
24 January 2007 (online)


Sangre de Grado extract used by Peruvian natives as a cicatrizant agent, was collected from trees of the species Croton lechleri growing in the Peruvian jungle. The Sangre de Grado was found to contain one alkaloid identified as taspine and which was shown to be the active cicatrizant principle by an in vivo test in mice. This alkaloid exhibited a dose-related cicatrizant effect and an ED50 of 0.375 mg/kg. Experiments with taspine hydrochloride in order to study its mechanism of action in cell culture systems showed that the alkaloid was non-toxic to human foreskin fibroblasts at concentrations below 150 ng/ml and that it had no effect on cell proliferation. On the other hand, taspine hydrochloride was found to increase the migration of human foreskin fibroblasts. This effect on the migration of fibroblasts is probably the mechanism by which Sangre de Grado and taspine hydrochloride accelerate the wound healing process. Using the two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis system, we have been able to show that neither Sangre de Grado nor taspine hydrochloride had carcinogenic or tumour promoter activity after 17 months of treatment.