R. Br. (Asclepiadaceae) is a well-known medicinal plant with leaves, roots, and bark being exploited by popular medicine to fight many human and animal diseases. This work deals with the fractionation of the crude latex produced by the green parts of the plant and aims to evaluate its toxic effects upon egg hatching and larval development of Aedes aegypti
. The whole latex was shown to cause 100% mortality of 3rd instars within 5 min. It was fractionated into water-soluble dialyzable (DF) and non-dialyzable (NDF) rubber-free materials. Both fractions were partially effective to prevent egg hatching and most of individuals growing under experimental conditions died before reaching 2nd instars or stayed in 1st instars. Besides, the fractions were very toxic to 3rd instars causing 100% mortality within 24 h. When both fractions were submitted to heat-treatment the toxic effects were diminished considerably suggesting low thermostability of the toxic compounds. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of both fractions and their newly fractionated peaks obtained through ion exchange chromatography or desalting attested the presence of proteins in both materials. When submitted to protease digestion prior to larvicidal assays NDF lost most of its toxicity but DF was still strongly active. It may be possible that the highly toxic effects of the whole latex from C. procera
upon egg hatching and larvae development should be at least in part due to its protein content found in NDF. However the toxicity seems also to involve non protein molecules present in DF.