Nauclea latifolia Smith (Rubiaceae) exerts antinociceptive effects in neuropathic pain induced by chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve.J Ethnopharmacol. 2014; 151(1):445-51.JE
The roots of Nauclea latifolia Smith (Rubiaceae) popularly known as "koumkouma" is used in traditional Cameroonian medicine as neuropathic pain remedy and for the treatment of headache, inflammatory pain and convulsion. This study was conducted to evaluate the antinociceptive effects of the alkaloid fraction isolated from Nauclea latifolia in neuropathic pain induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve in rat.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Bioactive-guided fractionation of the root extracts of Nauclea latifolia using the Von Frey in a rat model of neuropathic pain (Benett model), afforded a potent anti-hyperalgesic fraction IV. Further fractionation of this fraction was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), yielded eight sub-fractions (F1-F8) which were tested for antinociceptive effects. The alkaloid fraction (F3) collected by HPLC, exhibited potent antinociceptive effects, and the anti-allodynic and anti-hyperalgesic effects of this fraction (8, 16, 40 and 80 mg/kg) were determined using the von Frey and acetone tests respectively in a rat model of neuropathic pain. Rota-rod performance and catalepsy tests were used for the assessment of motor coordination.
The alkaloid fraction (80 mg/kg) administered intraperitoneally induced a completely decreased hyperalgesia 90 min post-dosing. In the acetone test, the Nauclea latifolia fraction at 80mg/kg showed its maximal anti-allodynic effects 120 min post-injection. The areas under the curve (AUC) of the anti-allodynic or anti-hyperalgesic effects produced by the alkaloid fraction at 80 mg/kg were significantly (p<0.001) greater than the AUC of effects produced by vehicle in CCI rats. The alkaloid fraction did not exhibit any significant effects on the spontaneous locomotor activity of the mice in rota-rod performance and no sign of catalepsy was observed.
The analysis of the effects, expressed as the time course of AUC, supports the traditional use of Nauclea latifolia in neuropathic pain therapy. The pharmacological and chemical studies are continuing in order to characterize the mechanism(s) responsible for this anti-hyperalgesic and anti-allodynic action and also to identify the active substances present in the roots extracts of Nauclea latifolia.