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Activity in vitro and in vivo against Trypanosoma cruzi of a furofuran lignan isolated from Piper jericoense

García-Huertas, Paola, Olmo, Francisco, Sánchez-Moreno, Manuel, Dominguez, Jorge, Chahboun, Rachid, Triana-Chávez, Omar
Experimental parasitology 2018 v.189 pp. 34-42
Piper, Trypanosoma cruzi, benznidazole, carbon, drugs, ethyl acetate, human cell lines, leaves, lignans, mechanism of action, metabolism, mice, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, parasites, spectral analysis, stable isotopes, toxicity, tropics, vegetation
Piperaceae species are abundant in the tropics and are important components of secondary vegetation. Many of these plants have received considerable attention due to their wide range of biological activities. Here, the trypanocidal activity of extracts and fractions with different polarities obtained from Colombian Piper jericoense plant was evaluated. A furofuran lignan, (1S,3aS,4S,6aS)-1-(3′,4′-dimethoxyphenyl)-4-(3″,4″-methylendioxyphenyl)hexahydrofuro[3,4-c]furan, (1), was isolated from Colombian Piper jericoense leaves ethyl acetate extract. Its relative configuration at the stereogenic centers was established on the basis of various spectroscopic analyses, including 1D- (1H, 13C, and DEPT) and 2D-NMR (COSY, NOESY, HMQC and HMBC) and a 2D INADEQUATE NMR experiment as well as by comparison of their spectral data with those of related compounds such as (+)-Kobusin (2). The activity against Trypanosoma cruzi indicated that compound 1 was active against all parasite forms (epimastigote, amastigote and trypomastigote) and presented lower toxicity than the reference drug, benznidazole (Bz), evidenced by a selective index of 18.4 compared to that of Bz, which was 6.7. Moreover, this compound inhibited the infectious process, and it was active in infected mice in the acute phase. This compound significantly inhibited the T. cruzi Fe-SOD enzyme, whereas Cu/Zn-SOD from human cells was not affected. Ultrastructural analyses, together with metabolism-excretion studies in the parasite, were also performed to identify the possible mechanism of action of the tested compound. Interestingly, the lignan affected the parasite structure, but it did not alter the energetic metabolism.