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Inflammopharmacology. 2013 Apr;21(2):187-97. doi: 10.1007/s10787-012-0152-6. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Antihypernociceptive activity of anethole in experimental inflammatory pain.

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Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Maringá, PR, Brazil.


Anethole has been reported to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiinflammatory, and anesthetic properties. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of anethole in two pain models of inflammatory origin: acute inflammation induced by carrageenan and persistent inflammation induced by Complete Freund's adjuvant. We evaluated the effects of anethole (125, 250, and 500 mg/kg) on the development of paw oedema and mechanical hypernociception. The liver was collected for histological analysis. Paw skin was collected to determine the levels of the cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-17 (IL-17), and myeloperoxidase activity. Blood was collected to assess alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST). The chemical composition of star anise oil was determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), showing a presence of anethole of 98.1%. Oral pretreatment with anethole in mice inhibited paw oedema, mechanical pernociception, myelopewroxidase activity, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-17 levels in acute and persistent inflammation models. Additionally, anethole treatment did not alter prostaglandin E2-induced mechanical hypernociception. Possible side effects were also examined. Seven-day anethole treatment did not alter plasma AST and ALT levels, and the histological profile of liver tissue was normal. The present study provides evidence of the antiinflammatory and analgesic activities of anethole in acute and persistent inflammation models.

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