In-vivo Anti-inflammatory Activity of Hydrocotyle umbellata L. aerial parts and Isolation of the Main Phytochemicals

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Kasr El-Aini St., Cairo 11562, Egypt.

2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


Hydrocotyle umbellata L. (Family Araliaceae) populary known as Acaricoba, is indicated in folk medicine for treatment of several inflammatory disorders. The goal of the present study is to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of the defatted ethanolic extract (DEE) of the aerial parts using carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema method. The levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and the inflammatory mediator prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were assessed using ELISA. The DEE at dose level 100 mg/kg showed significant decrease in oedema volume after 2 and 3 h, equivalent to 70.75% and 95.92% of the activity of the standard anti-inflammatory indomethacin, respectively. DEE significantly decreased the concentrations of the excessively produced IL-6 and PGE2 (24 ± 2.1 and 2374 ± 87 pg/ml compared to 16 ± 2 and 2419 ± 95 pg/mL induced by indomethacin). Chemical investigation was carried out to isolate and identify the bioactive compounds that might be responsible for this activity. The total phenolic (79.28± 0.1 mg) and total flavonoid (57.99 ± 0.1 mg) contents of the DEE were quantified spectrophotometricaly and expressed as gallic acid and rutin equivalents/g dry weight, respectively. The DEE was subjected to further fractionation using solvents of increasing polarities. Purification of the ethyl acetate fraction using different chromatographic techniques led to the isolation of five compounds, which were identified through 1D and 2D and UV/Vis spectral data. The five compounds were: quercetin, avicularin, quercitrin, hyperoside, and neochlorogenic acid. Several biological studies confirmed the important role of caffeoyl quinic acid and quercetin derivatives as anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds.

Graphical Abstract

In-vivo Anti-inflammatory Activity of Hydrocotyle umbellata L. aerial parts and Isolation of the Main Phytochemicals


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