The dichloromethane/methanol (1:1) extracts of the roots of Pentas longiflora and Pentas lanceolata showed low micromolar (IC(50) = 0.9-3 µg/mL) IN VITRO antiplasmodial activity against chloroquine-resistant (W2) and chloroquine-sensitive (D6) strains of PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM. Chromatographic separation of the extract of PENTAS LONGIFLORA led to the isolation of the pyranonaphthoquinones pentalongin (1) and psychorubrin (2) with IC(50) values below 1 µg/mL and the naphthalene derivative mollugin (3), which showed marginal activity. Similar treatment of Pentas lanceolata led to the isolation of eight anthraquinones ( 4-11, IC(50) = 5-31 µg/mL) of which one is new (5,6-dihydroxydamnacanthol, 11), while three--nordamnacanthal (7), lucidin-ω-methyl ether (9), and damnacanthol (10)--are reported here for the first time from the genus Pentas. The compounds were identified by NMR and mass spectroscopic techniques.
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