Celtis pallida Torr (Cannabaceae) is employed as a folk medicine for the treatment of inflammation, pain, skin infections, and diarrhea, among other diseases.
The purpose of this work was to assess the chemical composition, the in vitro and in vivo toxicity, the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal, antinociceptive, locomotor, and sedative effects of an ethanolic extract obtained from Celtis pallida aerial parts (CPE).
The composition of CPE was carried out by GC-MS. The in vitro and in vivo toxic activity of CPE was estimated with the comet assay (10-1000 µg/ml) for 5 h in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and the acute toxicity test (500-5000 mg/kg p.o.), for 14 days, respectively. The antimicrobial effect of CPE was evaluated using the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay, whereas the antidiarrheal activity (10-200 mg/kg p.o.) was calculated using the castor oil test. The antinociceptive effects of CPE (50-200 mg/kg p.o.) were estimated with the acetic acid and formalin tests, as well as the hot plate test. The sedative and locomotor activities of CPE (50-200 mg/kg p.o.) were assessed with the pentobarbital-induced sleeping time test and the rotarod test, respectively.
The main compound found in CPE was the triterpene ursolic acid (22% of the extract). CPE at concentrations of 100 µg/ml or higher induced genotoxicity in vitro and showed low in vivo toxicity (LD50 > 5000 mg/kg p.o.). Additionally, CPE lacked (MIC > 400 µg/ml) antimicrobial activity but exerts antinociceptive (ED50 = 12.5 ± 1.5 mg/kg) and antidiarrheal effects (ED50 = 2.8 mg/kg), without inducing sedative effects or altering the locomotor activity. The antinociceptive activity of CPE suggests the participation of adrenoceptors, as well as the nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway.
C. pallida exerts its antinociceptive effects probably mediated by the nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway.