(TC) (Euphorbiaceae) is a perennial woody climbing shrub in low bush forest of some parts of West Africa and used among the natives for relief of ailments accompanying pain and inflammation. In this study, the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of the methanolic extract (METC) and fractions (ethyl acetate, F1 and n-hexane, F2) of Tetracarpidium conophorum
leaf were evaluated in rat and mice.
The analgesic activity was evaluated using acetic acid-induced writhing, formalin-induced paw licking and hot plate test models. Carrageenan-induced paw oedema was used to assess anti-inflammatory activity in rats. The mechanism of action of (TC) was explored by the use of naloxone, a non-selective opioid receptor blocker.
The highest analgesic effect was observed in F2 extract at 57.21% inhibition and was further studied on various analgesic and anti-inflammatory models in graded doses. F2 significantly inhibited the late phase of formalin-induced paw licking and prolong hot plate latency at 55±1°C. The n-hexane fraction also significantly inhibited carrageenan-induced paw oedema in rats at 100 and 200mg/kg doses significantly (p< 0.001) and reduced paw licking response by 85.08% compared with control. Naloxone, an opioid receptor antagonist, did not significantly affect the changes observed with n-hexane fraction, thus ruling out the possibility of the involvement of opioid receptors in the analgesic actions of Tetracarpidium conophorum
. Phytochemical screening showed that the leaf extracts contain alkaloids, tannins, saponins and cardenolides.
The investigations showed that Tetracarpidium conophorum
possesses significant anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities that should be explored.