Indolics alkaloids from Psychotria: isolation and pharmacological evaluation.
Federal University of Grande Dourados – UFGD
Faculty of Health Sciences/UFGD. Rodovia Dourados - Itahum, Km 12. Cidade Universitária. Dourados - MS - Brasil. CEP: 79.804-970.
Arquimedes Gasparotto Junior
Anelise Samara Nazari Formagio
English and Portuguese
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Genus Psychotria has been the target of numerous pharmacological investigations related effects on central nervous system, probably due to the known hallucinogenic “ayahuasca” beverage effects, traditionally used for religious practice in Amazonian region from obtained from P. carthagenensis, Banisteriopsis caapi and P. viridis. In the search for novel antitumor agents from naturally occurring structures this genus was selected by US National Cancer Institute for their activities against human cancer (one-dose/60-cellline). This activity may have relationship to the presence of indol alkaloids that make promote the potent drug activity.
What is the aim of the project?
Herein the effect of the methanolic extract from Psychotria leiocarpa Cham. & Schlecht. (ME-PL), and vincosamide (indolic alkaloid) (PL-1) in vitro and ex vitro acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity on the brain structures of mice, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity are reported with further molecular docking simulation data. The exploratory open-field evaluation elevated plus maze and forced swim test, by measuring the emotional state.
What techniques and methods are used?
Antioxidant activity of ME-PL will be evaluated by malondialdehyde (MDA). The anticancer activity of Psychotria leiocarpa Cham. & Schlecht. (ME-PL) and vincosamide (indolic alkaloid) (PL-1) was determined by spectrophotometric quantification using the sulforhodamine B dye assay against ten human tumor cell lines. The anti-inflammatory activity was performed in paw edema and pleural cell migration models. The acetylcholinesterase activity in vitro and ex vitro was determined by an adapted Ellman method. Molecular docking simulations were performed using Molegro Virtual Docker v6.0.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
1) Preparation of extracts (maceration of leaves with methanol, extraction for 15 days); 2) Fractionation of the extract and isolation of the compounds by chromatographic methods 3) Structure elucidation of the compound by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) (uni and bidimensional) 4) Paw edema and carrageenan- induced pleurisy in mice.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Yes, seminars and lectures. Seminars will be held once a week, with activities related to the extraction of active principles and biological activity (methodology and mechanism of action).
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster
- The student will prepare a scientific report
- The student’s name will be mentioned in a future publication
- The student will have the opportunity to present the results together with the supervisor at a conference
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
The student should already have knowledge of laboratory biosafety, brings his/her own lab coat and logbook. Appropriate clothing (lab coat, closed shoes, long pants) and hair stuck inside the lab.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Students in biomedical fields
- do Nascimento; K. F.; Moreira; F. M. F.; Santos; J. A.; Kassuya; C. A. L.; Croda; J. H. R.; Cardoso; C. A. L.; ... & Formagio; A. S. N. (2018). Antioxidant; anti-inflammatory; antiproliferative and antimycobacterial activities of the essential oil of Psidium guineense Sw. and spathulenol. Journal of ethnopharmacology; 210; 351-358. Available at:
- do Santos; R. C.; de Souza; A. V.; Andrade-Silva; M.; Kassuya; C. A. L.; Cardoso; C. A. L.; do Carmo Vieira; M.; & Formagio; A. S. N. (2018). Antioxidant; anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory investigation of extract and dicentrinone from Duguetia furfuracea (A. St.-Hil.) Benth. & Hook. f. Journal of ethnopharmacology; 211; 9-16. Available at: