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Eur J Pharmacol. 2010 Dec 15;649(1-3):154-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.09.022. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

Antinociceptive effect of 7-hydroxy-3,4-dihydrocadalin isolated from Heterotheca inuloides: role of peripheral 5-HT₁ serotonergic receptors.

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Facultad de Química, Departamento de Farmacia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán 04510, México D. F., México.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible antinociceptive effect of Heterotheca inuloides in inflammatory pain and to identify the main compounds involved in this effect. Dose-response curves were obtained for hexane, dichlorometane, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts from Heterotheca inuloides inflorescences in the formalin test. Hexane extract was more potent and effective than other extracts. Bio-guided fractionation was performed to determine the main antinociceptive compounds of the plant. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technique demonstrated the composition of the most active fraction from hexane extract revealing the presence of caryophyllene oxide, cedrene, 7-hydroxy-3,4-dihydrocadalin, 7-hydroxycadalene and a compound not identified. The isolated compounds were individually evaluated in the formalin test in a preliminary dose of 100 μg/paw and only 7-hydroxy-3,4-dihydrocadalin showed a significant antinociceptive effect. Dose-response curves were then obtained for 7-hydroxy-3,4-dihydrocadalin and diclofenac, a prototypical analgesic drug. Both drugs were equieffective and equipotent in the second phase of the formalin test, but 7-hydroxy-3,4-dihydrocadalin was more effective and potent in the first phase than diclofenac. In addition, 7-hydroxy-3,4-dihydrocadalin reduced carrageenan-induced mechanical hyperalgesia and inflammation in a dose-dependent manner. Finally, in mechanistic studies, the antinociceptive effect of 7-hydroxy-3,4-dihydrocadalin in the formalin test was prevented by methiothepin, WAY100635, SB224289 and BRL15572 but not by naltrexone. Results support the use of H. inuloides inflorescences as analgesic in the Mexican traditional medicine. Moreover, data indicate that 7-hydroxy-3,4-dihydrocadalin is partly responsible of this pharmacological activity, and suggest that 5-HT(1A), 5-HT(1B), and 5-HT(1D) serotonergic, but not opioid, receptors participate in the antinociceptive effect of this drug.

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