(Annonaceae), known locally as “meiú” or “pindaíba”, is widely used in folk medicine in Northeastern Brazil. In the present work, we performed phytochemical analyses of the stem of X. laevigata
, which led to the isolation of 19 alkaloids: (−)-roemerine, (+)-anonaine, lanuginosine, (+)-glaucine, (+)-xylopine, oxoglaucine, (+)-norglaucine, asimilobine, (−)-xylopinine, (+)-norpurpureine, (+)-N
-methyllaurotetanine, (+)-norpredicentrine, (+)-discretine, (+)-calycinine, (+)-laurotetanine, (+)-reticuline, (−)-corytenchine, (+)-discretamine and (+)-flavinantine. The in vitro cytotoxic activity toward the tumor cell lines B16-F10 (mouse melanoma), HepG2 (human hepatocellular carcinoma), K562 (human chronic myelocytic leukemia) and HL-60 (human promyelocytic leukemia) and non-tumor peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was tested using the Alamar Blue assay. Lanuginosine, (+)-xylopine and (+)-norglaucine had the highest cytotoxic activity. Additionally, the pro-apoptotic effects of lanuginosine and (+)-xylopine were investigated in HepG2 cells using light and fluorescence microscopies and flow cytometry-based assays. Cell morphology consistent with apoptosis and a marked phosphatidylserine externalization were observed in lanuginosine- and (+)-xylopine-treated cells, suggesting induction of apoptotic cell death. In addition, (+)-xylopine treatment caused G2
/M cell cycle arrest in HepG2 cells. These data suggest that X. laevigata
is a potential source for cytotoxic alkaloids.
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