Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of the methanol root extracts of some selected Nigerian medicinal plants

Ismail O Ishola, Esther O Agbaje, Olufunmilayo O Adeyemi, Rakesh Shukla
Pharmaceutical Biology 2014, 52 (9): 1208-16

CONTEXT: The roots of Alafia barteri Oliver (Apocynaceae), Combretum mucronatum Schumach (Combretaceae) and Capparis thonningii Schum (Capparaceae) are used in Traditional African Medicine to alleviate painful and inflammatory conditions.

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of the methanol root extracts of Alafia barteri (MeAB), C. mucronatum (MeCM), and Capparis thonningii (MeCT).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Analgesic activity of the extracts (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg, p.o. 1 h) was evaluated using acetic acid-, formalin- and hot plate-induced pain while anti-inflammatory actions (100 or 200 mg/kg) were investigated using the carrageenan- and xylene-induced edema tests.

RESULTS: MeAB, MeCM, and MeCT (200 mg/kg) inhibited acetic acid-induced abdominal constriction by 55.07, 46.67, and 47.25%, respectively. In the formalin test, the index of pain inhibition of early and late phases was, respectively, 47.83 and 81.98% for MeAB, 56.10 and 63.81% for MeCM, and 42.84 and 63.29% for MeCT (200 mg/kg). MeAB and MeCT pretreatments significantly increased the reaction time by 46.67 and 25.53%, respectively, 120 min post-treatment in the hot-plate test. Naloxone (5 mg/kg, s.c.) pretreatment 15 min before extract administration, significantly (p < 0.05) reversed the analgesic effect of MeAB and MeCT in the formalin test. MeAB, MeCM, and MeCT showed significant anti-inflammatory activity with 60.44 and 30.39%, 63.74 and 58.08%, and 50.55 and 77.84% (200 mg/kg, 4 h), respectively, inhibition of paw and ear edema.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of MeAB and MeCT involve an interaction with opioid pathway and/or inhibition of chemical mediators of pain and inflammation.

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