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Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Oct;7(10):1397-400.

Essential oil of Croton argyrophylloides: toxicological aspects and vasorelaxant activity in rats.

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  • 1Superior Institute of Biomedical Sciences, State University of Ceará, Avenida Paranjana, 1700, Campus de Itaperi, 60740-903, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.


Croton argyrophylloides Muell. Arg. is widely used in Brazilian folk medicine to treat diabetes and venereal diseases. This study examined the acute toxicity and cytotoxicity of the essential oil of C. argyrophylloides (EOCA). In addition, vascular effects of the EOCA have been examined. In mice, an oral acute toxicity test revealed that EOCA could be considered as a non toxic essential oil since it showed a very high LD50 (9.84 +/- 0.01 g/kg). In the brine shrimp (Artemia salina) cytotoxic assay, the LC50 value of EOCA was 275 [165-534] microg/mL. EOCA (1-1000 microg/mL) relaxed isolated endothelium-intact aortic rings precontracted with phenylephrine with an IC50 value of 126.7 [89.8-163.7] microg/mL. In rat mesenteric bed preparations precontracted with phenylephrine, EOCA (1-300 microg/mL) also induced a reversible, vasodilator effect with an IC50 value of 46.0 [33.3-58.7] micro/mL. It is concluded that EOCA is a very interesting agent from the point of view of the possibility of therapeutic application. This is because, whilst showing a very small acute toxicity, EOCA also showed maximal efficacy as a vascular antispasmodic agent with a pharmacological potency similar to that of other Croton species essential oils.

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