Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24416462
PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2014;8(1):e2607
Leaves of Codiaeum variegatum (“garden croton”) are used against bloody diarrhoea by local populations in Cameroon. This study aims to search for the active components from C. variegatum against Entamoeba histolytica, and thereby initiate the study of their mechanism of action. A bioassay-guided screening of the aqueous extracts from C. variegatum leaves and various fractions was carried out against trophozoites of E. histolytica axenic culture. We found that the anti-amoebic activity of extracts changed with respect to the collection criteria of leaves. Thereby, optimal conditions were defined for leaves’ collection to maximise the anti-amoebic activity of the extracts. A fractionation process was performed, and we identified several sub-fractions (or isolated compounds) with significantly higher anti-amoebic activity compared to the unfractionated aqueous extract. Anti-amoebic activity of the most potent fraction was confirmed with the morphological characteristics of induced death in trophozoites, including cell rounding and lysis. Differential gene expression analysis using high-throughput RNA sequencing implies the potential mechanism of its anti-amoebic activity by targeting ceramide, a bioactive lipid involved in disturbance of biochemical processes within the cell membrane including differentiation, proliferation, cell growth arrest and apoptosis. Regulation of ceramide biosynthesis pathway as a target for anti-amoebic compounds is a novel finding which could be an alternative for drug development against E. histolytica.