Chinese medicine

Antifungal mode of action of macrocarpal C extracted from Eucalyptus globulus Labill (Lan An) towards the dermatophyte Trichophyton mentagrophytes.

PMID 26594235


The fresh leaves of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. (Lan An) have been used in Chinese medicine for many years to treat dermatomycosis. Macrocarpal C was isolated from this herb and identified as its major antifungal component by bioassay-guided purification. This study aims to investigate the antifungal activity of macrocarpal C against Trichophyton mentagrophytes, which can cause tinea pedis. Fresh leaves of E. globulus were extracted with 95 % ethanol, and the resulting ethanolic extracts were dried before being partitioned with n-hexane. The n-hexane layer was then subjected to chromatographic purification to give macrocarpal C. The antifungal minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of macrocarpal C was determined using the standard M38-A2 method described by the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). The mode of action of macrocarpal C was elucidated using three in vitro assays, including (1) a fungal membrane permeability test using SYTOX(®) Green; (2) a reactive oxygen species (ROS) production test using 5-(and-6)-carboxy-2',7'-dihydrodichlorofluorescein diacetate as a cell-permeable fluorogenic probe; and (3) a DNA fragmentation test based on terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) detection. Terbinafine hydrochloride and nystatin were used as positive controls. The suppression in the growth of T. mentagrophytes following its treatment with macrocarpal C was associated with an increase in the permeability of the fungal membrane (P = 0.0043 when compared to control); an increase in the production of intracellular ROS (P = 0.0063); and the induction of apoptosis as a consequence of DNA fragmentation (P = 0.0007). This study demonstrated that the antifungal action of macrocarpal C was associated with increases of membrane permeability, intracellular ROS and DNA fragmentation.