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Gastroprotective activity of Zanthoxylum rhoifolium Lam. in animal models

Freitas, F.F.B.P., Fernandes, H.B., Piauilino, C.A., Pereira, S.S., Carvalho, K.I.M., Chaves, M.H., Soares, P.M.G., Miura, L.M.C.V., Leite, J.R.S.A., Oliveira, R.C.M., Oliveira, F.A.
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2011 v.137 no.1 pp. 700-708
Zanthoxylum, acute toxicity, animal models, bark, catalase, colic, ethanol, flatulence, gastric mucosa, glibenclamide, mice, mucus, nitric oxide, nitric oxide synthase, potassium channels, pylorus, rats, secretion, stems
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The stem barks of Zanthoxylum rhoifolium Lam. (Rutaceae), locally known as “mamica de cadela”, are popularly used in dyspepsies, stomachic, tonic, antitumoral, antipyretic and are used in treating flatulence and colic. The objective of this study was to evaluate the gastroprotective effect of the ethanolic extract of Zanthoxylum rhoifolium (EEZR) stem barks in acute gastric lesion models, investigating their possible mechanisms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mice were used for the evaluation of the acute toxicity, and mice and rats to study the gastroprotective activity. The gastroprotective action of EEZR was analyzed in the absolute ethanol, HCl/ethanol and indomethacin-induced gastric lesion models in mice, hypothermic-restraint stress, and ischemia/reperfusion in rats. In the investigation of the gastroprotective mechanisms of EEZR, the participation of the NO-synthase pathway, ATP-sensitive potassium channels (KATP), the levels of the non-protein sulfhydril groups (NP-SH) and the catalase activity using the ethanol-induced gastric mucosa lesion model and the quantification of the gastric mucus and the antisecretory activity through pylorus ligature model in rats were analyzed. RESULTS: The animals did not present any signs of acute toxicity for the EEZR (up to the 4g/kg dose, po), and it was not possible to calculate the DL₅₀. EEZR (125–500mg/kg) exhibited a significant gastroprotective effect in absolute ethanol, HCl/ethanol, hypothermic-restraint stress, and ischemia/reperfusion-induced gastric lesion models. EEZR (250 and 500mg/kg) exhibited still a gastroprotective activity in the indomethacin-induced ulcer model. Gastroprotection of EEZR was significantly decreased in pre-treated mice with l-NAME or glibenclamide, the respective nitric oxide synthase and KATP channels inhibitors. Our studies revealed that EEZR (500mg/kg) prevented the decrease of the non-protein sulfhydril groups (NP-SH) and increased the catalase levels in ethanol-treated animals. Furthermore, the extract (500mg/kg) significantly increased the mucus production, however, the gastric secretion parameters (volume, [H⁺], pH) did not show any alteration. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the ethanolic extract of Zanthoxylum rhoifolium exhibits a significant gastroprotection, because it inhibits the formation of gastric lesions using different models. The release of the nitric oxide, the opening of the KATP channels, the participation of the non-protein sulfhydril groups (NP-SH), catalase and the increase of mucous secretion seem to be involved in the gastroprotection activity of the EEZR. Nevertheless, this activity does not seem to be related to antisecretory mechanisms.