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Title: Anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activities of the stem bark of Theobroma cacao Linn
Authors: S.A. Oyeleke, S.O. Umukoro, A.A. Aderibigbe, O.G Ademowo,
Keywords: Theobroma cacao, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, carraageenan.
Issue Date: 25-May-2017
Publisher: Journal of Applied & Basic Sciences (JABS). An official publication of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria.
Abstract: Ethnopharmacological relevance: Theobroma cacao L. (Sterculiaceae) is locally known as ‘koko’ and its stem bark is commonly used for the treatment of a variety of inflammatory painful conditions in Nigerian traditional medicine (personal communication). This study was designed to evaluate anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activities of the ethanol extract of the stem bark of Theobroma cacao (ETC) in rodents. Materials and methods:Anti-inflammatory activity of ETC was assessed using carrageenan- and formaldehyde -induced paw oedema models in rats. Anti-nociceptive effect of ETC was evaluated utilizing mouse writhing, formalin, tail immersion and Randel Selitto pain models in mice and rats. The animals (6 per group) were treated orally with ETC (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight) 30 min. before induction of inflammation and nociception. Phytochemical screening for active metabolites and acute toxicity study were also investigated using standard methods. Results: Phytochemical screening revealed that ETC contained alkaloids, saponins, terpenoids, flavonoids, cardenolides, steroids and tannins. ETC (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg, p.o) produced a significant inhibition of oedema formation induced by carrageenan and formaldehyde in rats. ETC also produced a dose-dependent suppression of nociceptive responses induced by acetic acid and formalin in mice. In the Randel Selitto pain model, the extract (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg, orally) prolonged paw withdrawal latency in both inflamed and non-inflamed hind paw of rats. However, the extract did not significantly alter the reaction time of mice to noxious heat in the tail immersion test. Acute toxicity study showed that ETC is safe even at a high dose of up to 5,000mg/kg orally in mice. Conclusion: The ethanol extract of the stem bark of Theobroma cacao contains phytochemical constituent (s) with anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties and further support its use for the treatment of ailments associated with inflammation in Nigerian ethnomedicine.
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