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Arch Physiol Biochem. 2018 Oct;124(4):335-343. doi: 10.1080/13813455.2017.1402352. Epub 2017 Nov 20.

Screening of analgesic activity of Tunisian Urtica dioica and analysis of its major bioactive compounds by GCMS.

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a Laboratory of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine of Sfax , University of Sfax , Sfax , Tunisia.
b Research Unit of Pharmacology and Toxicology of Xenobiotics, Faculty of Medicine of Sfax , University of Sfax , Sfax , Tunisia.


The present study was aimed to evaluate the analgesic properties of Urtica dioica (UD) and to profile phytochemicals by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The ethanolic extracts were prepared by maceration method and extraction using rotary evaporator. The analgesic activity was analysed by hot plate method, formalin test, acetic acid-induced writhing test and the tail-flick test with different doses of the ethanolic extract. In all tests, the leaf's ethanolic extract exhibited significant analgesic activity (p < .001) at a dose of 400 mg/kg. Even with a low dose, we noticed an analgesic activity with many tests. The GC-MS analysis of the ethanol extract of leaf revealed many compounds; 2-methyltetradecane dodecane, 2,6,11-trimethyl-; 2,6,11-trimethyldodecane, and trimethylhexane which are pharmaceutically the most important. These findings justify that UD can be a valuable natural analgesic source which seemed to provide potential phototherapeutics against various ailments. The analysis of ethanolic extract of UD by GCMS revealed the presence of several compounds including polyphenols, flavonoids, triterpenes which can explain the analgesic effect of UD and its mechanism of action. Hence, UD could be another therapeutic alternative for relieving pain and for minimising the use of drugs that have long-term secondary effects.


GC–MS; Urtica dioica; acetic acid; analgesic activity; flavonoid; formalin test

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