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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 31-37

Ilex paraguariensis promotes orofacial pain relief after formalin injection: Involvement of noradrenergic pathway

1 Laboratory of Pharmacology, Area of Biological and Health Science, University of the West of Santa Catarina, Joaçaba, Brazil
2 Department of Plant Science, Plant Morphogenesis and Biochemistry Laboratory, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
3 Department of Oral Medicine, State University of Ponta Grossa, Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Geisson Marcos Nardi
Laboratory of Pharmacology, Life Sciences Branch, University of the West of Santa Catarina, Campus II, Getulio Vargas Street 2125, Joacaba, SC, ZIP Code: 89600-000
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.178643

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Background: Drinking mate or chimarrã, a hot infusion of Ilex paraguariensis (ILEX) leaves, is a common habit in Southern South America that has a social and almost ritualistic role. It has been used as a stimulant beverage in South America and analgesic in regions of Argentina for treatment of headache and others painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the pharmacological activity of I. paraguariensis infusion (ILEX) on orofacial nociception model induced by formalin, and study its mechanism of action. Materials and Methods: The analgesic effect of ILEX was assessed through writhing test, paw formalin test, paw edema induced by carrageenan, and orofacial pain induced by formalin. To study the action mechanism of ILEX, opioidergic, dopaminergic, nitrergic, and adrenergic pathways were investigated. Results: The high-performance liquid chromatography analysis of ILEX infusion revealed caffeine and theobromine. The treatment with ILEX reduced the number of writhing. However, it was effective neither in the formalin paw test nor in the paw edema induced by carrageenan. Different from formalin paw test, ILEX was able to reduce the orofacial reactivity to formalin in 31.8% (70.4 ± 2.5 s; first phase), and 20% (127.3 ± 18.9 s; second phase). The analgesic effect of ILEX results from the modulation of noradrenergic pathways since prazosin (α1-adrenoceptor antagonist, 0.15 mg/kg; intraperitoneal) reversed the analgesic effect of ILEX. Conclusions: The present report demonstrates that analgesic effect of ILEX in orofacial formalin test is due mainly to modulation of noradrenergic pathways. Abbreviation Used: ILEX: Infusion of Ilex paraguariensis, NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, L-NOARG: L-NG-nitro-arginine, UV: Ultraviolet, i.p.: Intraperitoneal, NOS: Nitric Oxide Synthase, ANOVA: Analysis of variance, S.E.M.: Standard error of mean, HPLC: High-performance liquid chromatography, NO: Nitric Oxide, v.o.: Oral route, DCQ: dicaffeoylquinic acid, BMS: Burning mouth syndrome, PBS: Phosphate-buffered saline.

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