Background: Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder. Withania somnifera Dunal (Solanaceae) (WS), is a common medicinal plant used in traditional systems of medicine for the treatment of arthritis, and is an ingredient of anti-arthritic polyherbal formulations such as Habb-e-Asgand® and Arthritin™. In the present study, we evaluated the antioxidant and anti-arthritic activity of aqueous extract of WS root (WSAq) in collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats.
Methods: CIA rats were treated by using three doses of WSAq (100, 200, 300 mg/kg b. wt., orally) and methotrexate (MTX, 0.25 mg/kg b. wt. i.p.) as a standard reference drug for 20 days. The anti-arthritic effect was assayed by measuring the arthritic index, autoantibodies such as rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (a-CCP), anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), anti-collagen type II antibody (a-CII) and inflammatory marker like C-reactive protein (CRP). The oxidative stress parameters were also measured.
Results: Treatment with WSAq resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in arthritic index, autoantibodies and CRP (p<0.05) with maximum effect at dose of 300 mg/kg b. wt. and the results were comparable to that of MTX-treated rats. Similarly, oxidative stress in CIA rats was ameliorated by treatment with different doses of WSAq, as evidenced by a decrease in lipid peroxidation and glutathione-S-transferase activity and an increase in the glutathione content and ferric-reducing ability of plasma (p<0.05).
Conclusions: The results showed that WSAq exhibited antioxidant and anti-arthritic activity and reduced inflammation in CIA rats and suggests the potential use of this plant in the treatment of arthritis.
Funding statement: Funding: The authors are thankful to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology (Govt. of India) for providing financial support (No.BT/PR4612/MED/30/812/2012).
Research funding: The authors are thankful to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology (Govt. of India) for providing financial support (No.BT/PR4612/MED/30/812/2012).
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.
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