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J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 May 24;105(3):415-20. Epub 2006 Jan 6.

Anti-ulcerogenic and anti-inflammatory activity of the methanolic extract of Larrea divaricata Cav. in rat.

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Cátedra de Farmacología, Departamento de Farmacia, Facultad de Química, Bioquímica y Farmacia, Chacabuco y Pedernera, 5700 San Luis, Argentina.


Larrea divaricata Cav. (Zygophyllaceae) is used in popular medicine as anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic drug, containing higher amounts of nordihydroguaiaretic acid, a well-known free radical scavenger. Here we describe the gastric anti-ulcerogenic effect of the methanolic extract of Larrea divaricata (LdME) leaves in rat, using absolute ethanol and HCl 0.6N as necrotizing agents, and the effect of blocking endogenous sulfhydryl (SH) groups with N-ethylmaleimide (NEM). We also studied the anti-inflammatory activity of LdME in two rat experimental models: cotton pellet induced granuloma and arthritis induced by adjuvant-carrageenan. Influence of treatment in body weight and some lymphoid organs was evaluated. Finally, the free radical scavenging capacity of LdME was determined by the method of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) inhibition. LdME demonstrated anti-ulcerogenic effect in rats, and it was shown that the endogenous SH compounds were not involved in the mechanism of action. LdME also showed inhibitory activity in the applied models of inflammation, being more effective in the acute phase. No effect was observed concerning the weight of spleen, thymus and body. The extract proved to possess elevated free radical scavenging capacity which may contribute to the observed gastric anti-ulcerogenic and anti-inflammatory activity.

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