Evaluation of antiulcer activity and mechanism of action of methanol stem bark extract of Lafoensia pacari A. St.-Hil. (Lytraceae) in experimental animals.J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Dec 18; 144(3):497-505.JE
Lafoensia pacari St.-Hil. is a tree native to the Brazilian Cerrado. Its bark macerate is popularly used in Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of peptic ulcer, wound healing and inflammation.
AIM OF THE STUDY
To evaluate the antiulcer activities of the methanol extract of Lafoensia pacari (MELP) and possible mechanisms of actions involved.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The stem bark of Lafoensia pacari was macerated in methanol to obtain the crude methanol extract of Lafoensia pacari (MELP). The gastroprotective and ulcer healing of MELP were evaluated using ethanol, indomethacin, cold-restraint stress-induced (acute) and acetic acid (chronic) ulcer models. The probable mode of action of MELP was also evaluated by determining intestinal transit, involvement of non-protein sulfhyhydryls (NP-SH), gastric mucus secretion, gastric secretory parameters and pro-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-17 (IL-17). Phytochemical analysis was carried out using classical methods and ellagic acid, one of the most important pharmacological active compounds was confirmed by HPLC.
The results of the pharmacological studies on MELP demonstrated potent and effective gastroprotection against ethanol, indomethacin and cold stress-induced acute ulcers and ulcer healing in acetic acid induced chronic ulcer. MELP had no significant effect on the intestinal motility and it is also independent of mucus production but rather have a mucolytic effect. In pylorus-ligated rats the extract showed anti-secretory activity by decreasing total gastric juice volume and gastric acidity while increasing the gastric pH. The gastroprotection against ethanol is partially attributed to effective attenuation in the decrease in NP-SH levels, inhibition of the increases in the pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IL-17. Phytochemical analysis of MELP revealed the presence of pyrrogalic tannins, saponins, steroids, triterpenoids and simple phenols, with ellagic acid being the major components.
The results of this study showed that MELP possesses preventive and curative effects against gastric ulcer in experimental animals. These effects are partly dependent on its anti-oxidant, anti-secretory properties and inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines and independent of gastric/intestinal motility and mucus secretion. Ellagic acid, a compound of proven antiulcer activity, was found in MELP as the major component. These results confirmed the traditional use of MELP in Brazilian popular medicine for the treatment of gastric ulcers and shed some light on some of its mechanisms of action.