Purpose: Terminalia arjuna
Roxb (Combretaceae) is commonly known as Arjjhan and Arjun in Bengal,
India. The anti-leishmanial and anticancer activities of a pentacyclic triterpenoid isolated from its leaves
Dried and crushed leaves of Terminalia arjuna
were de-fatted with petroleum ether (40 -
60°C) and extracted with methanol. The extract was subjected to column chromatography and column
fractions were monitored on TLC plates developed in a suitable solvent system. Structures of the
isolated pure compounds were elucidated by infra-red spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and nuclear
magnetic resonance spectroscopy. One of the compounds was screened for anti-leishmanial activity
against promastigotes of Leishmania donovani
and anti-cancer activity on K562 leukaemic cell line.
A pentacyclic triterpenoid, characterized as 3ß-hydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid (together with ß-
D-glucoside) and designated ursolic acid, was successfully isolated. The structure was determined on
the basis of spectroscopic analyses. In vitro anti-leishmanial activity against promastigotes of
(strain AG 83) and anti-cancer activity on K562 leukaemic cell line were shown by
the isolated ursolic acid.
The methanol extract of the leaves of Terminalia arjuna
led to the isolation of a pentacyclic
triterpenoid, ursolic acid. This compound demonstrated in vitro anti-leishmanial and anti-cancer activities.