Phytochemical Analysis, Anti-Inflammatory Activity, Antioxidant Activity and Toxic Effects of Aqueous Root Extract of Launaea CORNUTA (Hochst. Ex Oliv. & Hiern.) Evans Kapanat Akimat (Bs.C)
Akimat, Evans Kapanat
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Anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive and antioxidant drugs have alleviated the agony of millions of people, especially in the developing countries where management of inflammation remains a big challenge. Nonetheless, despite being beneficial, these drugs are now seriously jeopardized by the adverse side effects associated with these synthetic compounds which include heart attack, stomach ulcers, liver and kidney diseases. In most African countries, the anti-inflammatory agents are limited and expensive. Therefore, scientists are tasked to generate new ideas of alternative and novel drugs. The root extracts of Launaea cornuta have been locally used in traditional medicine for decades to manage inflammatory conditions and other oxidative-stress-related syndromes; however, their pharmacologic efficacy has not been scientifically investigated and validated. Hence, we investigated the in vitro antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory (in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo) efficacy, acute oral toxicity, and qualitative phytochemical composition of the aqueous root extract of L. cornuta. The ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and the 2,2-diphenyl-2-pycrylhydrazyl (DPPH) methods were used to determine the studied extract’s antioxidant activity. Besides, the anti-inflammatory efficacy of the studied plant extract was investigated using in vitro (anti-proteinase and protein denaturation), ex vivo (membrane stabilization), and in vivo (carrageenan-induced paw oedema in Swiss albino mice) methods. OECD guidelines were used to conduct acute oral toxicity test using mice model. The studied plant extract demonstrated significant in vitro antioxidant effects, that were evidenced by higher DPPH radical scavenging (53.30% to 86.84%) and FRAP activities (0.56 to 0.74 absorbance), which were in a concentration-dependent manner (p<0.05). Generally, the studied plant extract exhibited significant in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo anti-inflammatory efficacy, respectively, and in a concentration/dose-dependent manner, compared with respective controls (p<0.05). For instance, the extract dose of 250 mg/kgbw had higher potency than the standard drug Dexamethasone in dose and time dependent manner in all mice used. Moreover, the studied plant extract did not cause any observable signs of acute oral toxicity even at the highest dose of 2000 mg/Kg BW (LD50 >2000 mg/Kg BW). Additionally, the qualitative phytochemistry revealed the presence of tannins, cardiac glycosides, anthraquinones, alkaloids, steroids, terpenoids, phenols and flavonoids. Some of these phytochemicals like flavonoids are antioxidant- and anti-inflammatory-associated phytochemicals and were deemed responsible for the reported pharmacologic efficacy. Therefore, aqueous root extract of L. cornuta has in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo anti-inflammatory, and in vitro antioxidant activity thus further studies to characterise bioactive molecules and their mode(s) of pharmacologic efficacy are encouraged.