Analgesic and anticonvulsant properties of Tetrapleura tetraptera (Taub) (Fabaceae) fruit aqueous extract in mice

John A O Ojewole
Phytotherapy Research: PTR 2005, 19 (12): 1023-9
Previous studies in our laboratories and elsewhere have shown that the fruit of Tetrapleura tetraptera (Taub) (family: Fabaceae) is widely used in African traditional medicine for the management and/or control of an array of human ailments, including schistosomiasis, asthma, epilepsy, hypertension and so on. The present study was designed to investigate the analgesic and anticonvulsant effects of Tetrapleura tetraptera (Taub) fruit aqueous extract (TTE) in mice. Morphine (MPN, 10 mg/kg i.p.), diclofenac (DIC, 100 mg/kg i.p.), phenobarbitone (20 mg/kg i.p.) and diazepam (0.5 mg/kg i.p.) were used, respectively, as reference analgesic and anticonvulsant agents for comparison. T. tetraptera fruit aqueous extract (TTE, 50-800 mg/kg i.p.) produced dose-dependent, significant (p < 0.05-0.001) analgesic effects against thermally and chemically induced pain in mice. Like the standard anticonvulsant agents (phenobarbitone and diazepam) used, T. tetraptera fruit aqueous extract (TTE, 50-800 mg/kg i.p.) significantly (p < 0.05-0.001) delayed the onset of, and antagonized, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures. Aqueous extract of the fruit (TTE, 50-800 mg/kg i.p.) also profoundly antagonized picrotoxin (PCT)-induced seizures, but only partially and weakly antagonized bicuculline (BCL)-induced seizures. However, the results of this experimental animal study indicate that Tetrapleura tetraptera (Taub) fruit aqueous extract (TTE) possesses analgesic and anticonvulsant properties. These findings lend pharmacological support to the suggested folkloric uses of the plant's fruit in the management and/or control of painful, arthritic inflammatory conditions, as well as for the management and/or control of epilepsy and childhood convulsions in some tropical African countries.

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