Antinociceptive properties of the hydroalcoholic extract and the flavonoid rutin obtained from Polygala paniculata L. in mice

Fernanda da R Lapa, Vinicius M Gadotti, Fabiana C Missau, Moacir G Pizzolatti, Maria Consuelo A Marques, Alcir L Dafré, Marcelo Farina, Ana Lúcia S Rodrigues, Adair R S Santos
Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology 2009, 104 (4): 306-15
The present study examined the antinociceptive effects of a hydroalcoholic extract of Polygala paniculata in chemical and thermal behavioural models of pain in mice. The antinociceptive effects of hydroalcoholic extract was evaluated in chemical (acetic-acid, formalin, capsaicin, cinnamaldehyde and glutamate tests) and thermal (tail-flick and hot-plate test) models of pain or by biting behaviour following intratecal administration of both ionotropic and metabotropic agonists of excitatory amino acids receptors glutamate and cytokines such as interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in mice. When given orally, hydroalcoholic extract (0.001-10 mg/kg), produced potent and dose-dependent inhibition of acetic acid-induced visceral pain. In the formalin test, the hydroalcoholic extract (0.0001-0.1 mg/kg orally) also caused significant inhibition of both the early (neurogenic pain) and the late (inflammatory pain) phases of formalin-induced licking. However, it was more potent and efficacious in relation to the late phase of the formalin test. The capsaicin-induced nociception was also reduced at a dose of only 1.0 mg/kg orally. The hydroalcoholic extract significantly reduced the cinnamaldehyde-induced nociception at doses of 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0 mg/kg orally. Moreover, the hydroalcoholic extract (0.001-1.0 mg/kg orally) caused significant and dose-dependent inhibition of glutamate-induced pain. However, only rutin, but not phebalosin or aurapten, isolated from P. paniculata, administered intraperitoneally to mice, produced dose-related inhibition of glutamate-induced pain. Furthermore, the hydroalcoholic extract (0.1-100 mg/kg orally) had no effect in the tail-flick test. On the other hand, the hydroalcoholic extract caused a significant increase in the latency to response at a dose of 10 mg/kg orally, in the hot-plate test. The hydroalcoholic extract (0.1 mg/kg orally) antinociception, in the glutamate test, was neither affected by intraperitoenal treatment of animals with l-arginine (precursor of nitric oxide, 600 mg/kg) and naloxone (opioid receptor antagonist, 1 mg/kg) nor associated with non-specific effects such as muscle relaxation or sedation. In addition, oral administration of hydroalcoholic extract produced a great inhibition of the pain-related behaviours induced by intrathecal injection of glutamate, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), IL-1beta and TNF-alpha, but not by alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA), kainate or trans-1-amino-1.3-cyclopentanediocarboxylic acid (trans-ACPD). Together, our results suggest that inhibition of glutamatergic ionotropic receptors, may account for the antinociceptive action reported for the hydroalcoholic extract from P. paniculata in models of chemical pain used in this study.

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