Antimalarial activity of alkaloids isolated from Stephania rotunda

Aun Chea, Sotheara Hout, Sok Siya Bun, Nino Tabatadze, Monique Gasquet, Nadine Azas, Riad Elias, Guy Balansard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Stephania rotunda (Menispermaceae) is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of fever. Four major alkaloids: dehydroroemerine, tetrahydropalmatine, xylopinine, cepharanthine as well as aqueous extract (SA), dichloromethane extracts (SD1 and SD2) from this plant were tested against Plasmodium falciparum W2 in vitro. Dehydroroemerine, cepharanthine and SD1 were the most active against W2 with IC50 of 0.36, 0.61 μM and 0.7 μg/mL, respectively. Their IC50 on human monocytic THP1 cells were 10.8, 10.3 μM and >250 μg/mL, respectively. Cepharanthine, SD1 and SA were selected for in vivo antimalarial test against Plasmodium berghei in mice. The results of SD1 and SA at dose of 150 mg/kg showed a decrease of 89 and 74% of parasitaemia by intra-peritoneal injection and 62.5 and 46.5% of parasitaemia by oral administration, respectively. The result of cepharanthine at dose of 10 mg/kg showed a decrease of 47% of parasitaemia by intra-peritoneal injection and 50% of parasitaemia by oral administration. Drug interaction of chloroquine and major alkaloids indicates that cepharanthine-chloroquine and tetrahydropalmatine-xylopinine associations are synergistic. These results are in agreement with the use of this plant in the treatment of malaria. This is the first report on in vivo antimalarial investigation for Stephania rotunda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 30 2007


  • Antimalarial activity
  • Cambodia
  • Stephania rotunda
  • Traditional medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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