In Vitro Inhibitory Effect of Berberis vulgaris (Berberidaceae) and Its Main Component, Berberine against Different Leishmania Species
Leishmaniasis has been identified as a major public health problem in tropical and subtropical 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 experiments. Methods: In this study in vitro antileishmanial activity of various extracts of B. vul-garis also its active compoenent, berberine against promastigote and amastigote
... 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 control. 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.