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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-97

Antiarthritic and antioxidant effects of the leaf extract of Ficus exasperata P. Beauv. (Moraceae)

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Eric Woode
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, KNUST, Kumasi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.62958

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Leaf extracts of Ficus exasperata P. Beauv. (Moraceae) are commonly used in Ghanaian traditional medicine for the treatment of several pathological states including inflammatory disorders. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the antiarthritic effect of an ethanolic extract of F. exasperata (FEE) in the Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritis model in rats. Since free radicals and reactive oxygen species are implicated in inflammatory joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the antioxidant potential of the extract was investigated in in vitro experimental models. FEE as well as the positive controls, dexamethasone and methotrexate, showed significant dose-dependent antiarthritic properties when applied to established adjuvant arthritis. Oral administration of FEE (30-300 mg/kg p.o.) significantly reduced the arthritic edema in the ipsilateral paw of rats with a maximal inhibition of 34.46 ± 11.42%. FEE (30-300 mg/kg p.o.) also significantly prevented the spread of the edema from the ipsilateral to the contralateral paws indicating inhibition of systemic spread. The disease-modifying antirheumatic drug methotrexate (0.1-1 mg/kg i.p.) and the steroidal anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone (0.3-3 mg/kg i.p.) also reduced very significantly the total polyarthritic edema as well as the spread of the arthritis from the ipsilateral to the contralateral paws of the treated animals. The extract also exhibited reducing activity (EC 50 = 8.105 ± 18.49), scavenged 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH, EC 50 = 0.499 ± 0.302) and prevented lipid peroxidation (IC 50 = 1.283 ± 0.923) in rat brain homogenates. Phenols were detected in the extract. These results suggest that ethanolic extract of the leaves of F. exasperata exerts antiarthritic activity after oral administration and also has antioxidant properties which may contribute to its activity.

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