Partial Isolation and Chemical Characterization of Cytotoxic Compounds in Freshwater Sponges
Marine sponges are known to produce or sequester compounds useful for defense against predation and to prevent fouling by parasites. Many of the compounds extracted from marine sponges have been shown to possess useful antitumoral properties. The present study investigates two species of freshwater sponges, Eunapius fragilis and Ephydatia muelleri, for possible cytotoxic compounds as determined by brine shrimp microassay. Results show that both species have cytotoxic compounds extractable in methanol and at least two cytotoxic compounds may be present in Eunapiusfragilis, both of which are extractable in hexane. The present study provides strong support for continued natural product research on freshwater sponges.