Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Methanol Extract of Ficus pumilaL. in Mice

Chi-Ren Liao, Chun-Pin Kao, Wen-Huang Peng, Yuan-Shiun Chang, Shang-Chih Lai and Yu-Ling Ho (2012), Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Methanol Extract of Ficus pumilaL. in Mice, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Volume 2012, Article ID 340141, 9 pages

This study investigated possible analgesic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of the methanol extract of Ficus pumila (FPMeOH). Analgesic effects were evaluated in two models including acetic acid-induced writhing response and formalin-induced paw licking. The results showed FPMeOH decreased writhing response in the acetic acid assay and licking time in the formalin test. The anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated by λ-carrageenan-induced mouse paw edema and histopathological analyses. FPMeOHsignificantly decreased the volume of paw edema induced by λ-carrageenan. Histopathologically, FPMeOH abated the level of tissue destruction and swelling of the edema paws. This study indicated anti-inflammatory mechanism of FPMeOH may be due to declined levels of NO and MDA in the edema paw through increasing the activities of SOD, GPx, and GRd in the liver. Additionally, FPMeOH also decreased the level of inflammatory mediators such as IL-1β, TNF-α, and COX-2. HPLC fingerprint was established and the contents of three active ingredients, rutin, luteolin, and apigenin, were quantitatively determined. This study provided evidence for the classical treatment of Ficus pumila in inflammatory diseases.
1. Introduction
Inflammatory reaction, typically characterized by redness, swelling, heat, and pain, is one of the most important host defense mechanisms against invading pathogens. However, persistent or overinflammation leads to tissue damage and possibly failure of organs. Proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) are produced in large quantities by activated macrophages/monocytes that stimulate cellular responses via increasing prostaglandins (PGs) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Additionally, lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde, MDA) is produced by free radicals attacking the cell membranes. Thus, inflammatory effect can lead to the accumulation of MDA [1].
Ficus pumila, a creeping vine like fig plant, is native to South China and Malaysia. Several studies have been performed on the composition of Ficus pumila, and a number of compounds have been identified such as apigenin, luteolin, rutin, genistein, hesperidin, astragalin, isoquercitrin, and chrysin. Dried stems and leaves of Ficus pumila have been folklorically used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, edema, tonic medicament, throat pain, and postpartum abdominal pain. However, no research has been investigated on the analgesic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of Ficus pumilayet.
In this study, we investigated the analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of the methanol extract ofFicus pumila (FPMeOH). The analgesic activity was evaluated by acetic acid-induced writhing response and formalin test. Anti-inflammatory activity was determined by using λ-carrageenan-induced mouse paw edema model and histopathological analysis. In order to evaluate the mechanism of anti-inflammatory effect, we also analyzed TNF-α, IL-1β, COX-2, MDA, and NO levels in the edema tissue, as well as antioxidant enzyme activities of SOD (superoxidase dismutase), GPx (glutathione peroxidase), and GRd (glutathione reductase) in the liver.
Many studies have indicated that flavonoids in herbs possess anti-inflammatory activities via scavenging ROS and reducing proinflammatory cytokines, such as rutin, luteolin, and apigenin. These three ingredients have also been isolated from Ficus pumila in previous studies. In the phytochemical part of this study, not only did we reconfirm the presence of these three compounds in FPMeOH by establishing its fingerprint chromatogram, but also the contents of these active ingredients were quantitatively determined.

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