In this work we tested both the in vitro and in vivo anti–Leishmania mexicana activity of a molecule we originally identified in the root of Pentalinon andrieuxii Muell-Arg, a plant that is widely used in Mayan traditional medicine. The chemical name of this molecule is 24-methylcholesta-4-24(28)-dien-3-one, but for simplicity's sake, we assigned the short and trivial name of urequinona that will be used throughout this work. It induces necrosis and apoptosis of promastigotes cultured in vitro and extensive ultrastructural damage of amastigotes. It also induces production of Interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-γ by splenic cells from infected and urequinona treated mice stimulated in vitro with parasite antigen (Ag) but inhibits the production of IL-6 and IL-12p70 by bone-marrow–derived macrophages (BMM) infected in vitro and then treated with urequinona. It also induces activation of transcription factors such as NFkB and AP-1 (NFkB/AP-1) in RAW reporter cells. We also developed a novel pharmaceutical preparation of urequinona encapsulated in hydroxyethyl cellulose for dermal application that significantly reduced (P < 0.05) experimentally induced ear lesions of C57BL/6 mice. We conclude the preparation containing this molecule is a good candidate for a novel anti-leishmanial drug's preparation.

You do not currently have access to this content.