Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) root extract on amelioration of oxidative stress and autoantibodies production in collagen-induced arthritic rats

Mahmood Ahmad Khan 1 , Mythily Subramaneyaan 1 , Vinod Kumar Arora 2 , Basu Dev Banerjee 1 , and Rafat Sultana Ahmed 1
  • 1 Department of Biochemistry, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, University of Delhi, Dilshad Garden, Delhi, India
  • 2 Department of Pathology, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, University of Delhi, Dilshad Garden, Delhi, India
Mahmood Ahmad Khan, Mythily Subramaneyaan, Vinod Kumar Arora, Basu Dev Banerjee and Rafat Sultana Ahmed

Abstract

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.

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