Extracts of Serjania lethalis A. St.-Hil leaves and stems were tested in order to identify potential agents against Leishmania amazonensis. The hexane fraction (HF) and dichloromethane subfractions (DDF and MDF) showed leishmanicidal effect. The anti-promastigote IC50 values were 10.29 (HF), 11.41 (DDF) and 28.33μg⁄mL (MDF); whereas those against amastigote were 7.2 (HF), 8.1 (DDF) and 6.5μg⁄mL (MDF). Among the fractions and subfractions assayed, only HF altered the cell cycle of the parasite, increasing 3-fold the number of cells in the sub-G0/G1 phase. HF also changed the parasite mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and the percentage of annexin-V-propidium iodide positive promastigotes. Our evaluations of the IC50 values showed that HF, DDF and MDF decreased NO production in infected macrophages stimulated with IFN-γ and LPS. Moreover, HF increased the production of TNF-α in Leishmania infected macrophages. This paper reports for the first time the leishmanicidal activity of extracts and fractions of Serjania lethalis leaves and also characterizes its leishmanicidal and immunomodulatory properties.
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