Department of Biological Sciences, Food Safety and Toxicology Research Unit, Environment and Technology Research Cluster, College of Science and Engineering, Landmark University, P.M.B, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, 1001, Nigeria. [Email]
Bioactive components of Ganoderma lucidum has recently gained intense research attention due to their acclaimed nutritional and medicinal properties. Thus, the terpenoid extract from the fruit bodies of G. lucidum (GT) was evaluated for activity against Plasmodium berghei in mice in two separate experiments. In addition, the effects of the extract on erythrocyte and hepatic lipids as well as liver HMG-CoA reductase activity before and after the treatments were also assessed. Mice with established infection were administered 100 and 250 mg/kg/day GT alone and in combination with chloroquine (CQ), in either case two separate controls designated: CQ (30 mg/kg chloroquine) and INF-CTR (1 mL DMSO) were also included. Treatment was administered orally for 12 days and parasitemia determined every three days. Percentage survival was significantly increased to 87% from 66% due to combination of GT100 with CQ compared to GT100 alone and to 75% from 62% when GT250 was administered with CQ compared to GT250 alone. Erythrocyte triglycerides, total cholesterol (TC), LDL and phospholipids contents were significantly lower in GT + CQ-treated mice compared to CQ alone and INF-CTR. Similarly, hepatic TC and phospholipid levels were significantly lower in the GT + CQ-treated mice compared to CQ alone and INF-CTR and HMG-CoA reductase activity in the liver was significantly inhibited due to administration of GT + CQ. Data from this study suggest that the anti-plasmodial action of GT could involve mechanisms associated with its hypolipidemic activity. It was also demonstrated that chloroquine, when administered in combination with GT, potentiates its curative effect in P. berghei-infected mice.