In Vivo Antimalarial Activity of Morinda lucida Benth. Stem Bark in Plasmodium berghei-Infected Mice
Keywords:Morinda lucida, Antimalaria, Antioxidants, Plasmodium berghei
Malaria eradication remains a challenge amidst the quest for new, more effective and less expensive therapeutic options. This study evaluates the secondary metabolites, antioxidant, nutritional and antimalarial potentials of Morinda lucida stem bark. Extracts were obtained from pulverized dry stem bark, macerated in hexane, methanol, ethanol and distilled water, separately. The secondary metabolite content of extracts and proximate analysis of dried sample were assayed using standard procedures. Antioxidant potential of the extracts was measured against DPPH and ferrous ion radicals. The antimalarial activity of the extracts was assessed using chemo-suppressive, prophylactic and mean survival time (MST) assays in male Swiss albino mice infected intraperitoneally with chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium berghei NK65 strain. There was reasonable presence of flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, phenolics, cardiac glycosides and tannins in the extracts. The extracts had antioxidant activity with aqueous extract having the highest DPPH scavenging (IC5036.51 ± 0.08 µg/mL) and ferrous ion chelating (IC5084.70 ± 0.17 µg/mL) activities. Percentage proximate composition was nitrogen free extract (71.22 ± 0.56%), crude protein (6.05 ± 0.02%), crude fibre (1.71 ± 0.01%), crude fat (13.02 ± 0.01%), crude ash (2.64 ± 0.04%), and moisture (5.36 ± 0.03%). The extracts demonstrated significant (p< 0.05) antimalarial activity compared to the infected untreated control. Methanol extract had the highest chemo-suppression (67.71%), prophylaxis (63.23%) and MST (16.20 ± 1.95; 15.50 ± 1.95 days, respectively) values. Therefore, Morinda lucida possesses rich phyto-nutritional contents possibly responsible for the observed antimalarial activity with methanol extract, derived from a near mid-polarity solvent, exerting the best antimalarial effect.
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