In Vitro Anthelmintic Evaluation of Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala, and Pithecellobium dulce: Fingerprint Analysis of Extracts by UHPLC-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry

Molecules. 2020 Jun 30;25(13):3002. doi: 10.3390/molecules25133002.


In the present work, the anthelmintic activity (AA) of ethanolic extracts obtained from Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala, and Pithecellobium dulce was evaluated using the third-stage-larval (L3) exsheathment inhibition test (LEIT) and egg hatch test (EHT) on Haemonchus contortus. Extracts were tested at concentrations of 0.3, 0.6, 1.2, 2.5, 5.0, 10, 20, and 40 mg/mL. The larval exsheathment inhibition (LEI) results showed that G. sepium achieved the highest average inhibition of 91.2%, compared with 44.6% for P. dulce and 41.0% for L. leucocephala at a concentration of 40 mg/mL; the corresponding IC50 values were 22.4, 41.7, and 43.3 mg/mL, respectively. The rates of egg hatching inhibition (EHI) at a concentration of 5 mg/mL were 99.5% for G. sepium, 64.2% for P. dulce, and 54% for L. leucocephala; the corresponding IC50 values were 1.9 mg/mL for G. sepium, 3.9 mg/mL for P. dulce, and 4.3 mg/mL for L. leucocephala. The species extracts studied here were also analyzed by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography and Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-Q/Orbitrap/MS/MS), resulting in the compounds' identification associated with AA. Glycosylated flavonoids and methoxyphenols were observed in all three species: fatty acids in G. sepium and P. dulce; phenylpropanoids, anthraquinone glycosides, amino acids and glycosylated phenolic acids in G. sepium; and flavonoids in L. leucocephala. Comparatively, G. sepium presented a greater diversity of compounds potentially active against the control of gastrointestinal nematodes, which was associated with the results obtained in the applied tests.

Keywords: Gliricidia sepium; Haemonchus contortus; Leucaena leucocephala; Pithecellobium dulce; UHPLC-MS; anthelminthic.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fabaceae / chemistry*
  • Fabaceae / classification*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Haemonchus / drug effects
  • Haemonchus / growth & development*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Larva / growth & development*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Anthelmintics
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts