The cytotoxic, antiplasmodial, and antitrypanosomal activities of two medicinal plants traditionally used in Cameroon were evaluated. Wood of Ficus elastica Roxb. ex Hornem. aerial roots (Moraceae) and Selaginella vogelii Spring (Selaginellaceae) leaves were collected from two different sites in Cameroon. In vitro cell-growth inhibition activities were assessed on methanol extract of plant materials against Plasmodium falciparum strain 3D7 and Trypanosoma brucei brucei, as well as against HeLa human cervical carcinoma cells. Criteria for activity were an IC50 value < 10 μg/mL. The extract of S. vogelii did not significantly reduce the viability of P. falciparum at a concentration of 25 μg/mL but dramatically affected the trypanosome growth with an IC50 of 2.4 μg/mL. In contrast, at the same concentration, the extract of F. elastica exhibited plasmodiacidal activity (IC50 value of 9.5 μg/mL) and trypanocidal (IC50 value of 0.9 μg/mL) activity. Both extracts presented low cytotoxic effects on HeLa cancer cell line. These results indicate that the selected medicinal plants could be further investigated for identifying compounds that may be responsible for the observed activities and that may represent new leads in parasitical drug discovery.
- Ficus elastica
- Selaginella vogelii