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J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Mar 24;128(2):467-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.024. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

Anti-inflammatory intestinal activity of Abarema cochliacarpos (Gomes) Barneby & Grimes in TNBS colitis model.

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Campinas State University, Departamento de Anatomia, Biologia Celular e Fisiologia e Biofísica-IB, cp 6109, CEP 13083-970, UNICAMP, Campinas, SP, Brazil.



To assess the anti-inflammatory effect of butanolic fraction of methanolic extract from bark of Abarema cochliacarpos in acute ulcerative colitis model induced by intracolonic administration of trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) in Wistar rats.


Abarema cochliacarpos (100 and 150mg/kg/day) was administered by gavage 48, 24 and 1h prior to the induction of colitis with 10mg/kg of TNBS and, 24h later.


Phytochemical studies by mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) revealed that catechins were a major component into condensate class of tannins. Treatment with Abarema cochliacarpos decreased significantly macroscopic damage as compared with TNBS (p<0.05). Histological analysis showed that both doses of the extract improved the microscopic structure and preserved some areas of the colonic mucosa structure. In addition, myeloperoxidase activity (MPO), as a marker of neutrophil infiltration, was decreased in a dose-dependent way (p<0.01 and p<0.001 respectively), TNF-alpha level was also diminished with the highest dose of the extract (p<0.001) and, IL-10 level obtained no significant results. In order to elucidate some of the mechanisms, expression of inducible inflammatory enzymes, such as cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), were studied showing a significant reduction. Finally, the involvement of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signalling demonstrated a reduction in the JNK activation with the highest dose (p<0.05 vs TNBS).


We have shown for the first time that the extracts obtained from Abarema cochliacarpos bark possess active substances, which exert marked protective effects in acute experimental colitis, confirming and justifying, at least in part, the popular use of this plant to treat gastrointestinal diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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