In vitro and In vivo Antitrypanosomal Effects of Mitracarpus villosus Leaves


  • Zubair, I. A. Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria Author
  • Inuwa, H. M. Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria Author
  • Umar, A. I. Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria Author


The in vitro antitrypanosomal activity of the aqueous, ethanolic, methanolic and chloroform extracts of the leaves of Mitracarpus villosus was evaluated on Trypanosoma b. brucei by means of a blood incubation infectivity test (BIIT) using Diminal® (diminazene aceturate) as positive reference.. The aqueous extract was fractionated to yield eight fractions by means of a column chromatography, each of the eight fractions were tested in vitro by means of BIIT. The therapeutic potentials of fractions II, III, IV and the crude aqueous extract were investigated in mice infected with T. brucei; the animals were treated orally at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight daily until their death. Phytochemical screening of the aqueous extract showed the presence of flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, anthraquinones, saponins, and glycosides. Fractions II, III and IV emerged as the only fractions with appreciable trypanocidal activity. Although, all the fractions and the crude aqueous extract showed some degree of activity at both doses, fraction IV conferred the best antitrypanosomal effect as it extended the life span of the animals by 4 days, when compared to the negative control, and its ability to decrease the parasites 8 days post treatment. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of fraction IV, revealed 13 peaks, two of which were 9, 10-Anthracenedione-α anthraquinone and (4-Phenyl-tetrahydro-pyran-4-ny)-piperidin-1-yl-methanone, derivatives of anthraquinones and alkaloids. The result revealed that the aqueous extract and fraction IV possessed trypanocidal activity which may be attributed to the presence of the anthraquinone and alkaloidal derivatives


Download data is not yet available.


Aldhous, P. (1994). Fighting parasites on a shoe string. Science 264:1857-1859.

Asuzu, I. U. and Chinime, C. N. (1990). Effects of Morinda lucida leaf extract on T. b. brucei infection in mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 30: 307-313.

Atawodi, S. E., Bulus, T., Ibrahim, S., Ameh, D. A., Nok, A. J., Mamman M. and Galadima, M. (2003). In vitro trypanocidal effect of methanolic extract of some Nigerian savannah plants. African Journal of Biotechnology 2 (9): 317-321.

Bodley, A. L. and Shapiro, T. A. (1995). Molecular and cytotoxic effects of camptothecin, a topoisomerase I inhibitor on typanosomes and leshmania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 92: 3272-3730.

Bodley, A. L., Wani, M. C., Wall, M. E. and Shapiro, T. A. (1995). Antitrypanosomal activity of camptothecin analogs. Structure-activity correlations. Biochemical Pharmacology 50: 937-942.

Ekpo, M. A. and Etim, P. C. (2009). Antimicrobial activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Sida acuta on microorganisms from skin infections. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 3(9): 621-624

Freiburghaus, F., Kaminsky, R., Nkuna, M. H. N. and Brun, R. (1996). Evaluation of African medicinal for their in vitro trypanocidal activity. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 55: 1-11

Freiburghaus, F., Jonker, S. A., Nkuna, M. H. N., Mwasunbi, L. B. and Brun, R. (1997). In vitro trypanocidal activity of some rare Tanzanian medicinal plants. Acta Tropica 67: 181-185.

Freiburghaus, F., Steck, A., Pfander, H. and Brun, R. (1998). Bioassay guided isolation of a diastereoisomer of kolavenol from Entada absyssinica active on Trypanosoma brucei rhodense. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 61: 179-183.

Gutteridge, W. E. (1985). Existing chemotherapy and its limitations. British Medical Bulletin. 41:162-168.

Harborne, J. B. (1973). Phytochemical methods. London Chapman and Hall Ltd. pp.49-188.

Herbert, W.J. and Lumsden, W. H. R. (1976). Trypanasoma brucei: A rapid “matching” method for estimating the host’s parasitaemia. Experimental Parasitology 40:427-431.

Holmes, P. (2000). Programme against African Trypanosomiasis. Journal of Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Information Quarterly 23:1

Irobi, O. N. and Daramola, S. O. (1993).Antifungal activities of crude extracts of Mitracarpus villosus (Rubiaceae). Journal of Ethnopharmacology 40 (2):137-40.

Irobi, O. N. and Daramola. S. O. (1994). Bactericidal properties of crude extracts of Mitracarpus villosus. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 42 (1):39-43.

Kaufmann, P. B., Cseke, L. J., Warber, S., Duke, J. A. and Brielmann H. L. (1999). Natural Products from Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FI.

Kuzoe, F. A. S. (1993). Current situation of African Trypanomiasis. Acta Tropica 54:153- 162.

Legros, D., Evans, S., Maino, F., Enyarel, J. C. K. and Mbulanuberi, D. (1999). Risk factors for the treatment failure after melarsoprol for Trypanosoma brucei gambiense Trypanosomiasis in Uganda. Journal of Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 93(4):439-442.

Maikai, V. A., Nok, J. A., Adaudi, A. O. and Alawa, C. B. (2008). In vitro antitrypanosomal activity of aqueous and methanolic crude extracts of stem bark of Ximenia americana on Trypanosoma congolense. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 2(3): 55-58,

Nok, A. J., Esievo, K. A. N., Adaudi, A., Ogeshe, S., Gimba, C. E. and Kabgu, J. A. (1992). Trypanocidal activity of an organotin compound. Journal Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. 11 :125-130.

Nok A. J., Esievo K. N., Hongdet, I., Arowosafe, S., Onyenekwe, P. C., Gimba, C. E. and Kagbu, J. A. (1993). Trypanocodal potentials of Azadichracta indica: In vivo activity of leaf extract against T. b. brucei. Journal Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. 15:113-118

Nok, A. J. (2002). Azaanthraqinone inhibits respiration and in vitro growth of long slender blood stream forms of T. congolense. Cell Biochemistry and Function 20: 205-212.

Onyeyili, R. A. and Egwu, G. O. (1995). Chemotherapy of Africa Trypanomiasis: A historical review. Protozoology Abstracts 5:229-243.

Sara, H., Frederik, O., Reto, B., Victor A. and Joelle Q. (2003). In vitro antitrypanosomal activity of ethnopharmacologically selected bininese parts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 91:37-42

Sepulaveda-Boza, S. and Cassels, B. K. (1996). Plant metabolite active against Trypanosoma cruzi. Planta Medica 62: 98-105.

Tarus, P. K., Machocho, A. K., Lang’at –Ihoruwa, C. and Chabra, S. C. (2002). Flavonoids from Tephrosia aequilata. Phytochemistry 60: 375-379.

Trease, G. E. and Evans, M. S. (1989). Textbook of Pharmacognosy. 14th Edition., Balliere Tindall., London, pp: 81-300

World Health Organization (2000). Sleeping sickness treatment and drug resistance. 142-143

Journal of Tsetsefly and Trypanosmiasis. Information Quarterly 23:4.

Wurochekke, A. U. and Nok, A. J. (2004). In vitro antitrypanosomal activity of some medicinal plants used in the treatment of trypanosomosis in Northern Nigeria, African Journal of Biotechnology 3 (9): 481-483.

Youan, B. B. C., Coulibaly, S., Miezan, T. B., Doua, F. and Bamba, M. (1997). In vivo evaluation of sixteen plant extracts on mice inoculated with Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 75:343-348.



How to Cite

In vitro and In vivo Antitrypanosomal Effects of Mitracarpus villosus Leaves. (2011). Nigerian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 26(2), 135-143.