Quinoline Alkaloids

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Alkaloids

Quinoline is a double carbon ring containing one nitro-gen atom. Quinoline alkaloids include quinine from the bark of Cinchona ledgeriana, a South American tree in the coffee family (Rubiaceae). The alkaloid quinine is toxic to Plasmodium vivax and three additional species, the one-celled organisms (protozoans) that cause malaria.


QUINOLINE ALKALOIDS

 

 

Quinoline is a double carbon ring containing one nitro-gen atom. Quinoline alkaloids include quinine from the bark of Cinchona ledgeriana, a South American tree in the coffee family (Rubiaceae). The alkaloid quinine is toxic to Plasmodium vivax and three additional species, the one-celled organisms (protozoans) that cause malaria. The microorganisms invade red blood cells where they multiply, eventually escaping from the ruptured cells. The disease is characterized by spells of fever and chills, associated with the simultaneous rupture of red blood cells. Malaria is certainly one of the most widespread diseases throughout tropical regions of the world, and it is transmitted through the bite (blood meal) of the female Anopheles mosquito. During the 1600s, Spanish Jesuits in Lima, Peru learned that bark extracts from a local tree called ‘quina’ (C. officinalis) could cure malaria. They successfully used this extract on Countess Chinchona. Some strains of Plasmodium are resistant to many of the synthetic quinine analogues, so natural: quinine is still used to this day.

 

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