Studies on the acaricidal mechanism of the active components from neem (Azadirachta indica) oil against Sarcoptes scabiei var. cuniculi

Vet Parasitol. 2014 Aug 29;204(3-4):323-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.05.040. Epub 2014 Jun 6.


Octadecanoic acid-3,4-tetrahydrofuran diester, isolated from neem (Azadirachta indica) oil, exhibited potent acaricidal activity against Sarcoptes scabiei var. cuniculi. In this paper, the acaricidal mechanism of octadecanoic acid-3,4-tetrahydrofuran diester against Sarcoptes scabiei var. cuniculi was evaluated based on pathologic histology and enzyme activities. The results showed that after compound treatment for 24h at a concentration of 20mg/mL, the lesions of mites were prominent under transmission electron microscopy. The lesions consisted of the lysis of dermis cell membranes and cell nuclear membranes, mitochondrial morphological abnormalities, the drop of spinal disorders, and mitochondrial vacuolization. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), glutathione-s-transferases (GSTs), and Ca(2+)-ATPase of mites significantly changed after treatment with octadecanoic acid-3,4-tetrahydrofuran diester compared with the control group. The activities of SOD, POD, and Ca(2+)-ATPase were significantly suppressed, whereas that of GSTs was activated. These results indicated that the mechanism of the acaricidal activity of octadecanoic acid-3,4-tetrahydrofuran diester was mainly achieved through interference with the energy metabolism of mites, thus resulting in insect death.

Keywords: Enzyme activities; Octadecanoic acid-3,4-tetrahydrofuran diester; Pathologic histology; S. scabiei var. Cuniculi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acaricides / isolation & purification
  • Acaricides / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Azadirachta / chemistry*
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Sarcoptes scabiei / drug effects*
  • Sarcoptes scabiei / enzymology
  • Sarcoptes scabiei / ultrastructure
  • Scabies / drug therapy*
  • Stearic Acids / isolation & purification
  • Stearic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Acaricides
  • Stearic Acids
  • octadecanoic acid-tetrahydrofuran-3,4-diyl ester
  • Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases