The analgesic, anti-inflammatory and calcium antagonist potential ofTanacetum artemisioides

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Several species of the genus Tanacetum are traditionally used in a variety of health conditions including pain, inflammation, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders. In the current investigation, we evaluated the plant extract of T. artemisioides and some of its pure compounds (flavo-noids) for analgesic, anti-inflammatory and calcium antagonist effects in various in- vivo and in vitro studies. Using the actetic acid induced writhing test, intraperitoneal (i.p) administration of the plant extract (25-50 mg/kg) and its flavonoid compounds TA-1 and TA-2 (1-5 mg/kg) exhibited significant analgesic actvity. The maximum analgesic effect observed with the crude extract of the plant was 71 % at 50 mg/kg, while that of compounds TA-1 and TA-2 (5 mg/kg i.p) was 75 and 47%, respectively. The plant extract and its pure compounds caused inhbition of formalin induced paw licking in mice predominatly in the second phase of the test. Diclofenac sodium, a standard reference compound, showed a simlar effect in these chemical induced pain models. In the carrgeenan induced rat paw edema assay, the plant extract (50-200 mg/kg i.p) demonstrated significant (P< 0.01) anti-inflmmatory activity which was comparable to that obtained with diclofenac sodium and indomethacin. In isolated rabbit jejunum preprations the plant extract showed an atropine sensitive dose-dependent (0.10-1.0 mg/mL) spasmogenic activity followed by a spasmolytic effect at the next higher doses (3-5 mg/mL). The crude extract of the plant also inhibited the high K+-induced contractions, indicating a calcium channel blocking (CCB) activity, which was further confirmed when the plant extract caused a right-ward shift in the Ca++ concentration response curves in the isolated rabbit jejunum preparations, similar to that seen with Verapamil. The flavonoid compounds isolated from the plant were devoid of any activity in the isolated tissue preparations. These results indicate that the plant extract of T. artemisioides possesses analgesic, anti-inflammatory and CCB activities. The flavonoid compounds of the plant may have a role in its observed analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities, while the CCB activity of the plant may be attributed to some other chemical constituents present. Moreover the findings support the traditional reputation of the genus Tanacetum for its therapeutic benefits in pain and inflammatory conditions.

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