Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 9, 2013

Antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic activities of ethanol root extract of Strophanthus hispidus DC (Apocynaceae)

  • Ismail O. Ishola , Olufunsho Awodele EMAIL logo , Ibrahim A. Oreagba , Abdulahi A. Murtala and Micah C. Chijioke


Background: Strophanthus hispidus DC (Apocynaceae) is a medicinal plant widely used in traditional African medicine in the treatment of rheumatic afflictions, ulcer, conjunctivitis, leprosy and skin diseases. This study sought to investigate the antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antiulcer properties of the ethanol root extract of S. hispidus.

Methods: Antinociceptive activity was evaluated using acetic acid-induced writhing and formalin tests in mice. The carrageenan- and egg albumin-induced rat paw edema tests were used to investigate the anti-inflammatory actions, whereas the antiulcer activity was investigated using ethanol-, HCl- and pyloric ligation-induced gastric ulcer models in rats.

Results: S. hispidus [100–800 mg/kg orally (po)] produced significant (p<0.05) inhibition of writhing reflex with peak effect of 74.13% inhibition observed at 800 mg/kg. Similarly, S. hispidus significantly (p<0.05) attenuated formalin-induced early and late phase of nociception with peak effect of 61.84% and 89.43%, respectively, at 200 mg/kg. S. hispidus (25–800 mg/kg po) caused significant (p<0.05) inhibition of edema development in the carrageenan and egg albumin models with peak effect (93.40% and 90.10% inhibition of edema formation) observed at 50 mg/kg. With respect to antiulcer activity, S. hispidus (100–800 mg/kg) showed potent antiulcer activity with respective peak effects of 96% (ethanol-induced), 99% (HCl-induced) and 70.60% inhibition of ulcer.

Conclusions: The findings in this study suggest that the ethanol root extract of S. hispidus possesses antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic activities. This justifies the use of the extract in folklore medicine for the treatment of ulcer and inflammatory disorders.

Corresponding author: Olufunsho Awodele, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Lagos, Nigeria, Phone: +234 8023624044, E-mail:

The authors are grateful to Mr. D. Ota of the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, for technical assistance.

Conflict of interest statement

Authors’ conflict of interest disclosure: The authors stated that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this article.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.


1. Burkill HM. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. Vol. 1, Families A–D, 2nd ed. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew publishing 1985;135–91.Search in Google Scholar

2. Odugbemi TO. Outlines and pictures of medicinal plants from Nigeria. Lagos, Nigeria: University of Lagos Press, 2006.Search in Google Scholar

3. Ayoola GA, Folawewo AD, Adesegun SA, Abioro OO, Adepoju-Bello AA, Coker HA. Phytochemical and antioxidant screening of some plants of Apocynaceae from South West Nigeria. Afr J Plant Sci 2008;2:124–8.Search in Google Scholar

4. Gonzalez JG, Monache GD, Monache FD, Marini-Bettolò GB. Chuchuasca – a drug used in folk medicine in the Amazonian and Andean areas. A chemical study of Maytenus leavis. J Ethnopharmacol 1982;5:73–7.10.1016/0378-8741(82)90022-8Search in Google Scholar

5. Leite JP, Rastrelli L, Romussi G, Oliveira AB, Vilegas JH, Vilegas W, et al. Isolation and HPLC quantitative analysis of Flavonoid glycosids from Brasilian beverages (Maytenus ilicifolia and Maytenus aquifolium). J Agric Food Chem 2001;49:3796–801.10.1021/jf010294nSearch in Google Scholar

6. Itokawa H, Shirota O, Ikuta H, Morita H, Takeya K, Itaka Y. Triterpenes from Maytenus ilicifolia. Phytochem 1991;30:3713–16.10.1016/0031-9422(91)80096-JSearch in Google Scholar

7. Shirota O, Morita H, Takeya K, Itokawa H. Cytotoxic aromatic triterpenes from Maytenus ilicifolia and Maytenus chuchuhuasca. J Nat Prod 1994;57:1675–81.10.1021/np50114a009Search in Google Scholar

8. Amida MB, Yemitan OK, Adeyemi OO. Toxicological assessment of the aqueous root extract of Sansevieria liberica Gerome and Labroy (Agavaceae). J Ethnopharmacol 2007;113:171–5.10.1016/j.jep.2007.03.033Search in Google Scholar

9. Singh S, Majumdar DK. Analgesic activity of Ocimum sanctum and its possible mechanism of action. Int J Pharmacogn 1995;33:188–92.10.3109/13880209509065361Search in Google Scholar

10. Mbagwu HO, Anene RA, Adeyemi OO. Analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties of Mezoneuron benthamianum Baill (Caesalpiniaceae). Nig Q J Hosp Med 2007;17:35–41.10.4314/nqjhm.v17i1.12540Search in Google Scholar

11. Shibata M, Ohkubo T, Takahashi H, Inoki R. Modified formalin test: characteristic biphasic pain response. Pain 1989;38:347–52.10.1016/0304-3959(89)90222-4Search in Google Scholar

12. Ishola IO, Akindele AJ, Adeyemi OO. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Cnestis ferruginea Vahl ex DC (Connaraceae) methanol root extract. J Ethnopharmacol 2011;135:55–62.10.1016/j.jep.2011.02.024Search in Google Scholar

13. Winter C, Risley E, Nuss O. Carrageenin-induced inflammation in the hind limb of the rat. Fed Proc 1962;46:118–26.Search in Google Scholar

14. Bamgbose SO, Noamesi BK. Studies on cryptolepine. II. Inhibition of carrageenan-induced oedema by cryptolepine. Planta Med 1981;42:392–6.Search in Google Scholar

15. Robert A, Nezamis JE, Lancaster C, Hanchar AJ. Cytoprotection by prostaglandins in rats: prevention of gastric necrosis produced by alcohol, HCl, NaOH, hypertonic NaCl and thermal injury. Gastroenterology 1978;77:433–43.10.1016/0016-5085(79)90002-7Search in Google Scholar

16. Adami E, Marazzi-Uberti E, Turba C. Pharmacological research on Gefarnate, a new synthetic isoprenoid with an anti-ulcer action. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther 1964;47:113–45.Search in Google Scholar

17. Mizui T, Douteuchi M. Effect of polyamines on acidified ethanol gastric lesions in rats. Jpn J Pharmacol 1983;33:939–45.10.1016/S0021-5198(19)52438-6Search in Google Scholar

18. Shay H, Komarov SA, Fels SS, Meranze D, Gruenstein M, Siplet H. A simple method for the uniform production of gastric ulceration in rat. Gastroenterology 1945;5:43–61.Search in Google Scholar

19. Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM. Pharmacology, Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 1999.Search in Google Scholar

20. Bentley GA, Newton SH, Starr J. Studies on the antinociceptive action of α-agonist drugs and their interaction with opioid mechanisms. Br J Pharmacol 1983;79:125–34.10.1111/j.1476-5381.1983.tb10504.xSearch in Google Scholar

21. Zakaria ZA, Abdul Ghani ZD, Raden Mohd Nor RN, Gopalan HK, Sulaiman Mohd R, Mat Jais AM, et al. Antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties of an aqueous extract of Dicranopteris linearis leaves in experimental animal models. J Nat Med 2008;62:179–87.10.1007/s11418-007-0224-xSearch in Google Scholar

22. Winyard PG, Willoughby DA. Carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats and mouse. Totowa: Humana Press, 2003;115.Search in Google Scholar

23. Panthong A, Kanjanapothi D, Taesotikul T,Wongcome T, Reutrakul VJ. Anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties of Clerodendrum petasites. J Ethnopharmacol 2003;85:151–6.10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00368-9Search in Google Scholar

24. Doherty NS, Robinson BV. The inflammatory response to carrageenan. J Pharm Pharmacol 1975;27:701–3.Search in Google Scholar

25. Hernandez-Perez M, Rabanal Gallego RM. Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of Sideritis canariensis var. pannosa in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;81:43–7.Search in Google Scholar

26. Guth PH, Paulsen G, Nagata, H. Histologic and microcirculatory changes in alcohol-induced gastric lesions in the rat: effect of prostaglandin cytoprotection. Gastroenterology 1984;87:1083–90.10.1016/S0016-5085(84)80068-2Search in Google Scholar

27. Oates PJ, Hakkinen JP. Studies on the mechanism of ethanol induced gastric damage in rats. Gastroenterology 1988;94:10–21.10.1016/0016-5085(88)90604-XSearch in Google Scholar

28. Goel RK, Bhattacharya SK. Gastroduodenal mucosal defence and mucosal protective agents. Indian J Exp Biol 1991;29:701–14.Search in Google Scholar

29. Souza-Formigoni ML, Oliveira MG, Monteiro MG, Filho NG, Braz S, Carlini EA. Antiulcerogenic effects of two Maytenus species in laboratory animals. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;34:21–7.10.1016/0378-8741(91)90185-GSearch in Google Scholar

30. Antônio MA, Souza-Brito AR. Oral anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic activities of a hydroalcoholic extract and partitioned fractions of Turnera ulmifolia (Turneraceae). J Ethnopharmacol 1998;61:215–28.10.1016/S0378-8741(98)00049-XSearch in Google Scholar

31. Alanko J, Riutta A, Holm P, Mucha I, Vapatalo H, Metsa-Ketela T. Modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism by phenols: relation to their structure and antioxidant/prooxidant properties. Free Radic Biol Med 1999;26:193–201.10.1016/S0891-5849(98)00179-8Search in Google Scholar

32. Repetto MG, Llesuy SF. Antioxidant properties of natural compounds used in popular medicine for gastric ulcers. Braz J Med Biol Res 2002;35:523–34.10.1590/S0100-879X2002000500003Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2013-1-16
Accepted: 2013-3-22
Published Online: 2013-05-09
Published in Print: 2013-11-01

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

Downloaded on 1.6.2023 from
Scroll to top button