The toxicity of some quassinoids from Eurycoma longifolia

Planta Med. 2002 Jul;68(7):662-4. doi: 10.1055/s-2002-32907.


The 50 % aqueous ethanol extract of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Simaroubaceace) roots was partitioned with diethyl ether, n-butanol and then water. Acute toxicity studies of each fraction on mice administered orally and brine shrimps revealed that the n-butanol fraction was the most toxic. Toxicity-guided chromatographic fractionation of the n-butanol fraction identified eurycomanone as the most toxic component. 13,21-Dihydroeurycoma-none, eurycomanol, longilactone, 14,15 beta-dihydroxyklaineanone and eurycomanol-2- O-beta-glucopyranoside were 2.8, 33, 44, 88.9 and > 100 times less toxic on brine shrimps, respectively. A C 20 -type quassinoid, an alpha,beta-unsaturated ketone in ring A, an exomethylene function at C-13 and an oxymethylene bridge connecting C-8 and C-11 of ring C contributed to increased toxicity.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artemia / drug effects*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 4 or More Rings / chemistry
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 4 or More Rings / isolation & purification
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 4 or More Rings / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Simaroubaceae / chemistry*


  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 4 or More Rings