Antibacterial activity of Discaria americana Gillies ex Hook (Rhamnaceae).J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 Jul 15; 239:111635.JE
Discaria americana Gillies ex Hook (sin. Discaria febrifuga and Discaria longispina) (Rhamnaceae) is a plant native from Rio Grande do Sul (Southern Brazil), Uruguay and Argentine, and has been used in Brazilian traditional medicine as antipyretic agent, and for stomach disorders. In Rio Grande do Sul, Uruguay and Argentine, the roots, in decoction, are used as tonic and febrifuge. Although it is a plant widely used by the population, there are no studies proving this popular use.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The crude neutral methanol extract, and pure isolated alkaloids, were investigated in vitro for antimicrobial activities against four Gram-positive bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtillis, Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecium; and five Gram-negative bacteria: Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter aerogenes, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The crude neutral methanol (CME) extract of the root bark of Discaria americana showed antibacterial activity, ranging from 62.5 to 250 μg mL-1 (MIC), against the tested bacteria. From the fractions obtained from the crude extract, the basic ethereal fraction (BEF) showed to be more effective, with MICs between 31.5 and 125 μg mL-1 against the tested bacteria. The bioassay-guided fractionation of the ethyl ether basic fraction yielded eight cyclopeptide alkaloids: frangufoline (1), frangulanine (2), adouetine Y' (3), discarine A (4) discarine B (5), discarine C (6), discarene C (7) and discarine D (8). When evaluated against the Gram-positive bacteria Enterococcus faecium, discarine B (5) proved to be the most active alkaloid with a MIC/MLC = 0.77/1.55 μg mL-1, near the most active antibacterial agent levofloxacin (MIC/MLC = 0.77/0.77 μg mL-1). Moreover, discarine C (6) was the more active alkaloid against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, with a MIC/MLC = 3.1/6.2 μg mL-1, the same observed for the antibacterial agent azithromycin. Kinetic measurements of the bacteriolytic activities of discarine B (5) against Enterococcus faecium (Gram-positive), and of discarine C (6) against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (Gram-negative) were determined by optical density based on real time assay, suggesting that both mode of action are partially bacteriolytic.
In conclusion, five 14-membered cyclopeptide alkaloids isolated from Discaria americana Gillies ex Hook (Rhamnaceae) showed promising antibacterial activity, making this metabolites a class of scientific interest. The good activity presented by the extract and the alkaloids against the Gram-positive bacteria Enterococcus faecium and against the Gram-negative bacteria Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Enterobacter. aerogenes and Escherichia coli, corroborate with the popular use of this plant for stomach disorders and as antifebrile.