Antiprotozoal activity of Melampyrum arvense and its metabolites



An activity guided isolation of the H2O subextract of the crude extract of Melampyrum arvense L. afforded iridoid glucosides: aucubin (1), melampyroside (2), mussaenoside (3), mussaenosidic acid (4), 8-epi-loganin (5); flavonoids: apigenin (6), luteolin (7), luteolin 7-O-β-glucopyranoside (8); a lignan glycoside dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol 9-O-β-glucopyranoside (9); and benzoic acid (10). β-Sitosterol (11) and a fatty acid mixture (12) were identified as the active principles of the CHCl3 subextract. The structures of the isolates were elucidated by spectroscopic methods, while the composition of 12 was identified by GC-MS after methylation. Luteolin (7) appeared as the most active compound against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and Leishmania donovani (IC50 values 3.8 and 3.0 μg/mL). Luteolin 7-O-β-glucopyranoside (8) displayed the best antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum (IC50 value 2.9 μg/mL). This is the first detailed phytochemical study on Turkish M. arvense and the first report of the antiprotozoal effect of Melampyrum species and its constituents. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.