The larvicidal activity of the crude petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, acetone, chloroform and ethanol extracts of Amorpha fruticosa seeds was individually assayed for toxicity against the early fourth-instar larva of the mosquito, Culex pipiens pallens after 24 h exposure. Of the tested extracts, the ethanol one exhibited the highest larvicidal activity (LC50 = 22.69 mg/L). Amorphigenin (8'-hydroxyrotenone), a rotenoid compound which exhibits a strong larvicidal activity with LC50 and LC90 values of 4.29 and 11.27 mg/L, respectively, was isolated from the ethanol extract by column chromatograpy. Its structure was elucidated by 1H-NMR, UV and IR spectral data. Furthermore, investigation of amorphigenin’s effects on mitochondrial complex I activity and protein synthesis in C. pipiens pallens larvae reveals that amorphigenin decreases mitochondrial complex I activities to 65.73% at 10.45 μmol/L, compared to the control, when NADH were used as the substrate. Meanwhile, amorphigenin at 10.45 μmol/L also caused a 1.98-fold decrease in protein content, compared to the control larvae treated with acetone only.
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