In Vitro Inhibitory Effect of Berberis vulgaris (Berberidaceae) and Its Main Component, Berberine against Different Leishmania Species.
AbstractBackground: Leishmaniasis has been identified as a major public health problem in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The present study was aimed to investigate antileishmanial effects of various extracts of Berberis vulgaris also its active com-poenent, berberine against Leishmania tropica and L. infantum species on in vitro ex-periments. Methods: In this study in vitro antileishmanial activity of various extracts of B. vul-garis also its active compoenent, berberine against promastigote and amastigote stages of L. tropica and L. infantum was evaluated, using MTT assay and in a macro-phage model, respectively. Furthermore, infectivity rate and cytotoxicity effects of B. vulgaris and berberine in murine macrophage cells were investigated. Results: The findings of optical density (OD) and IC50 indicated that B. vulgaris particulary berberine significantly (P<0.05) inhibited the growth rate of pro-mastigote stage of L.tropica and L.infantum in comparison to meglumine antimoniate (MA). In addition, B. vulgaris and berberine significantly (P<0.05) decreased the mean number of amastigotes in each macrophage as compared with positive con-trol. In the evaluation of cytotoxicity effects, it could be observed that berberine as compared with B. vulgaris exhibited more cytotoxicity against murine macrophages. Results also showed that when parasites were pre-incubated with B. vulgaris their ability to infect murine macrophages was significantly decreased. Conclusion: B.vulgaris particularly berberine exhibited potent in vitro leishmanicid-al effects against L. tropica and L.infantum. Further works are required to evaluate the antileishmanial effects of B.vulgaris on Leishmania species using clinical settings.
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