Orlando Salvador-Neto 1 , Simone Azevedo Gomes 1 , 4 , Angélica Ribeiro Soares 2 , Fernanda Lacerda da Silva Machado 2 , Richard Ian Samuels 4 , Rodrigo Nunes da Fonseca 1 , 3 , 5 , Jackson Souza-Menezes 1 , 3 , 5 , Jorge Luiz da Cunha Moraes 1 , 5 , Eldo Campos 1 , 5 , Flávia Borges Mury 1 , 5 , José Roberto Silva 1 , 5 , *
25 January 2016
Dengue is considered a serious public health problem in many tropical regions of the world including Brazil. At the moment, there is no viable alternative to reduce dengue infections other than controlling the insect vector, Aedes aegypti Linnaeus. In the continuing search for new sources of chemicals targeted at vector control, natural products are a promising alternative to synthetic pesticides. In our work, we investigated the toxicity of a bioactive compound extracted from the red alga Laurencia dendroidea J. Agardh. The initial results demonstrated that crude extracts, at a concentration of 5 ppm, caused pronounced mortality of second instar A. aegypti larvae. Two molecules, identified as (−)-elatol and (+)-obtusol were subsequently isolated from crude extract and further evaluated. Assays with (−)-elatol showed moderate larvicidal activity, whereas (+)-obtusol presented higher toxic activity than (−)-elatol, with a LC 50 value of 3.5 ppm. Histological analysis of the larvae exposed to (+)-obtusol revealed damage to the intestinal epithelium. Moreover, (+)-obtusol-treated larvae incubated with 2 µM CM-H 2DCFDA showed the presence of reactive oxygen species, leading us to suggest that epithelial damage might be related to redox imbalance. These results demonstrate the potential of (+)-obtusol as a larvicide for use against A. aegypti and the possible mode of action of this compound.