Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of Baccharis dracunculifolia DC (Asteraceae) in different experimental models

Diogo A dos Santos, Murilo de J Fukui, N P Dhammika Nanayakkara, Shabana I Khan, João Paulo B Sousa, Jairo K Bastos, Sérgio F Andrade, Ademar A da Silva Filho, Nara L M Quintão
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2010 February 3, 127 (2): 543-50

AIM OF THE STUDY: The aerial parts of Baccharis dracunculifolia D.C., popularly known as "alecrim do campo", are used in folk medicine as anti-inflammatory. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of the crude hydroalcoholic extract obtained from leaves of Baccharis dracunculifolia (BdE), which have not been reported.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: BdE was analyzed by HPLC and in vivo evaluated (doses ranging from 50 to 400mg/kg, p.o.) by using the acetic acid-induced abdominal constrictions, paw oedema induced by carrageenan or histamine, overt nociception models using capsaicin, glutamate or phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), formalin-induced nociception and mechanical hypernociception induced by carrageenan or complete Freund adjuvant (CFA). As positive controls it was used paracetamol in both acetic acid and formalin tests; dipyrone in capsaicin, glutamate and PMA-induced nociception; indomethacin in CFA and carrageenan-induced hypernociception models. In addition, the in vitro effects of BdE on COX-2 activity and on the activation of NF-kappaB were also evaluated.

RESULTS: BdE (50-400mg/kg, p.o.) significantly diminished the abdominal constrictions induced by acetic acid, glutamate and CFA. Furthermore, BdE also inhibited the nociceptive responses in both phases of formalin-induced nociception. BdE, administered orally, also produced a long-lasting anti-hypernociceptive effect in the acute model of inflammatory pain induced by carrageenan. It was also observed the inhibition of COX-2 activity by BdE.

CONCLUSION: In summary, the data reported in this work confirmed the traditional anti-inflammatory indications of Baccharis dracunculifolia leaves and provided biological evidences that Baccharis dracunculifolia, like Brazilian green propolis, possess antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities.

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