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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.86  suppl.2 Rio de Janeiro  1991 

Screening of the antimalarial activity of plants of the Cucurbitaceae family

Cláudia Zuany Amorim1 

Arthur Diaz Marques1 

Renato Sergio Balão Cordeiro1 

Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Departamento de Fisiologia e Farmacodinâmica, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


Crude ethanolic extracts (CEEs) from two species of Cucurbitaceae, Cucurbita maxima and Momordica charantia (commonly called "abóbora moranga" and melão de São Caetano", respectively) were assayed for antimalarial activity by the 4-d suppressive test. The CEE of dry C. maxima seeds showed strong antimalarial activity following oral administration (259 and 500 mg/kg), reducing by 50% the levels of parasistemia in Plasmodium berghey-infected mice. Treatment of normal animals with 500 mg/Kg of the extract three days before intravenous injection of P. berghei caused a significant 30% reduction in parasitemic levels. No effect was observed when the animals were treated with the CEE only on the day of inoculation. Oral administration of the CEE of dry M. charantia leaves adminstered orally was ineffective up to 500 mg/Kg in lowering the parasitemic levels of malarious mice.

Key words: antimalarials; drug therapy; natural products; plant extracts; drug screening; Plasmodium berghei; curcubita maxima; Momordica charantia; Cucurbitaceae


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