Antinociceptive and gastroprotective actions of ethanolic extract from Pluchea sagittalis (Lam.) Cabrera

Sonia Maria Figueredo, Francisney Pinto do Nascimento, Cristina Setim Freitas, Cristiane Hatsuko Baggio, Cristian Soldi, Moacir Geraldo Pizzolatti, Maria del Carmen Chellion de Ibarrola, Rosa Luisa Degen de Arrua, Adair Roberto Soares Santos
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2011 June 1, 135 (3): 603-9

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Pluchea sagittalis, an herbaceous plant widely distributed in South America, is used in folk medicine for the treatment of digestive diseases and inflammation.

AIM OF THE STUDY: This study was designed to investigate the antinociceptive and gastroprotective effects of the ethanolic extract (EE) of aerial parts from Pluchea sagittalis in rodents.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The antinociceptive effects of EE was evaluated in mice after oral administration in chemical tests (acetic-acid, glutamate and formalin) or by biting behavior following intrathecal administration of cytokines such as interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in mice. Furthermore, rats were treated with EE and subsequently exposed to acute gastric lesions induced by 80% ethanol. Afterwards the gastric lesion extension and the mucus levels of gastric mucosa were measured.

RESULTS: The oral administration of EE showed a dose-dependent inhibition of acetic acid-induced abdominal constrictions and glutamate-induced pain in mice, with ID(50) values of 624.0 (523.0-746.0) mg/kg and 368.0 (216.0-628.0) mg/kg, respectively. In the formalin test, the EE also produced significant inhibition of the inflammatory phase, with an ID(50) value of 411.0 (183.0-721.0) mg/kg; however, it was ineffective in the neurogenic phase caused by formalin. In addition, oral treatment with EE caused a significant inhibition of biting behavior induced by i.t. injection of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). The antinociception caused by the EE (300 mg/kg, p.o.) was not reversed by naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.p.) when assessed in the acetic acid writhing test. The EE (300-1000 mg/kg, p.o.) did not affect the motor coordination of animals in an open-field model. Oral treatment with the EE protected rats against gastric lesions induced by ethanol, with an ID(50) value of 55.0 (46.6-64.9) mg/kg, and increased the mucus levels of gastric mucosa to levels found in the non-lesioned group.

CONCLUSIONS: The mechanism by which the extract produced antinociception still remains unclear, but this effect seems to be primarily related to the modulation or inhibition of the action of pro-inflammatory mediators. Furthermore, these data support, at least in part, the ethnomedical use of Pluchea sagittalis.

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