“Antiarthritic Activity of Whole Plant Extract of <em>Pentatropis capensis</em> on Wistar Rats”

Research Article

Austin J Pharmacol Ther. 2016; 4(2).1084.

“Antiarthritic Activity of Whole Plant Extract of Pentatropis capensis on Wistar Rats”

Shah SK, Rao NJ, Patel TH and Patel BV*

Department of Pharmacology, Sardar Patel College of Pharmacy, India

*Corresponding author: Patel BV, Department of Pharmacology, Sardar Patel College of Pharmacy, Bakrol, 388315, India

Received: May 26, 2016; Accepted: July 18, 2016; Published: July 29, 2016


Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by synovial proliferation & inflammation, cartilage destruction and deformity of joints. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which may lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility if not adequately treated. The study was carried out to evaluate the antiarthritic effect of Methanolic Extract of Pentatropis Capensis (MEPC) in arthritic rats. Adult Wistar rats were used in the study. Dose selection was done by performing Formaldehyde (0.1ml i.d. of 2% v/v formaldehyde) induced arthritis model. 140mg/kg MEPC dose was obtained as ED50 and was used in Complete Freund’s Adjuvant (CFA) arthritis model. In CFA model, 0.1ml CFA was injected in left hind paw on 0 day only. Arthritic rats were administered with standard drug (indomethacin, 0.3mg/kg) and MEPC (140mg/kg) from 1st to 12th day. Physical parameters like change in body weight, paw volume, paw diameter and arthritic index were measured during experiment. On 21st day, blood was collected and various hematological parameters and Rheumatoid Factor were performed. The ankle joints were collected for histopathological and radio graphical examinations. MEPC markedly reduced paw volume, paw diameter, arthritic index, ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) and Total WBC (White Blood Cell) count, while markedly increased RBC (Red Blood Cell) and Hb (Hemoglobin) as compared to arthritic animals. Rheumatoid Factor was significantly (P< 0.05) reduced in MEPC treated group when compared to arthritic animals. Histopathological and radio graphical studies of joints showed protective effect of MEPC. MEPC possess protective effect against CFA induced arthritis that can be attributed towards its antiarthritic activity.

Keywords: Arthritis; Pentatropis capensis; Complete freund’s adjuvant; Formaldehyde; Rheumatoid factor


MEPC: Methanolic Extract of Pentatropis Capensis; ESR: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate; WBC: White Blood Cell; RBC: Red Blood Cell; Hb: Hemoglobin, CFA: Complete Freund’s Adjuvant


Joint is location where two or more bones are connected to each other. The joints of the skeletal system contribute to homeostasis by holding bones together in ways that allow the movement and flexibility [1].

Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation of one or more joints [2]. It is an autoimmune disorder characterized by synovial proliferation and inflammation, cartilage destruction and deformity of joints also a systemic inflammatory disease associated with generation of oxidative stress that produced vascular dysfunction [3].

It is caused by pro-inflammatory molecules released by macrophages including reactive oxygen species and eicosanoids such as prostaglandins, leukotrines and cytokines [4]. It affects about 1% of the population of world in a female and male ratio 2.5:1 [2].

The currently used allopathic medicines cannot cure arthritis and these medicines are often associated with several side effects. Ayurvedic medicines are popular in India and commonly used for treatment of arthritis which alleviates pain in people with arthritis [5].

One of the herbal plants is Pentatropis capensis Linn. Bullock belongs to Asclepiadaceae family which is geographically well distributed in West Bengal, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka [6]. It exerts anti-bacterial, keratolytic, antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide radical scavenging activity [7]. Its ethanolic extract and alcoholic extract exerts antiinflammatory activity by inhibition of inflammatory effect 5 HT & Histamine and analgesic activity respectively [8,9].

Several herbal plants containing various phytoconstituents like n-octacosanol, α- amyrin, friedelin, β- sitosterol, salicylic acid, cardiac glycosides, steroids, flavonoids, tannins have shown antiinflammatory as well as antiarthritic activity [10-13]. Pentatropis capensis Linn. Bullock also contains some of these phytoconstituents. Hence, it may be possible that it may have protective effect against arthritis.

Observing the world wide prevalence of the disease, the side effects and poor efficacy of the currently available medicines and increasing uses of herbal plants in the treatment, the study was designed to screen antiarthritic activity of methanolic extract of whole plant of Pentatropis capensis Linn. Bullock by using Formaldehyde and Complete Freund’s Adjuvant induced arthritis models.

Materials and Methods

Collection of plant material

Arial parts of whole plant of Pentatropis capensis were collected from Himalaya Naturals, Dehradun, Uttarakhand and were authenticated by G. C. Jadeja at Anand Agriculture University, Anand, Gujarat, India (SPCP/Herbarium/005/2013).

Extraction procedure

Collected plant was cleaned, washed and dried under the shed. Then it was coarsely powdered in blender and passed through sieve #40. Then, 200 g of Pentatropis capensis powder was subjected to extraction by a simple maceration process using 70% methanol for 48 hrs. Then the extracted liquid has evaporated at 45 °C, the solvent free mass thus obtained was weighed and coded as MEPC (Methanolic Extract of Pentatropis capensis). It was stored in airtight container in refrigerator for further use. Obtained semi solid-sticky plant extract was subjected to phytochemical screening tests.

Experimental procedure

Females are more prone to arthritis as compared to males [2]. Thus, Female Wistar rats were used as experimental animals for the study. The animals were housed in a group of 6 rats per cage under well-controlled conditions of temperature (22 ± 2°C), humidity (55 ± 5%) and 12hrs/12hrs light-dark cycle. Animals had free access to conventional laboratory rat chow diet and water ad libitum. The protocol SPCP/IAEC/RP-003/2012-13 of the experiment was approved by Institutional Animal Ethics Committee (IAEC) as per the guidance of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

Following models were used in study

Formaldehyde induced arthritis [2]: Animals were randomly allocated in six groups, with n=6 animals in each group in each group, as follows: Group-I Disease control received 0.1 ml formaldehyde (2% v/v), Group-II, III, IV and V received MEPC 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg/kg, p.o. Thirty minutes after oral administration of drugs, arthritis was induced by subplantar administration of 0.1 ml formaldehyde (2% v/v) into the left hind paw of all the animals. This was designated as day 1. Drug treatment was continued for the duration of 9 more days.

Formaldehyde (0.1 ml 2% v/v) was again injected into the same paw on the third day. The paw volume was measured by a Plethysmograph on the first day of the experiment. Group II, III, IV, and V received 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg/kg of MEPC respectively for 10 days. After 30 min of administration of drug, 0.1 ml of 2% v/v formaldehyde was injected in sub-plantar region of left hind paw on 1st and 3rd day. On the 10th day paw volumes of all animals were measured and a graph was plotted of percentage reduction in paw volume vs. doses of MEPC to measure ED50 of MEPC. The dose of ED50 obtained, was used in CFA induced arthritis model (Dose of ED50 was found to be was 140 mg/kg).

Complete freund’s adjuvant induced arthritis model [14]: Female Wistar rats weighing 150-200 g were selected for the experiment. They were divided into four groups each group contained six animals as follows: Group-I Normal control, Group-II received Complete Freund’s adjuvant (0.1 ml/rat, i.d.) and served as Diseased control, Group-III received Indomethacin (0.3 mg/kg, p.o.) and served as Standard treated and Group-IV (MEPC 140 treated) received MEPC (140 mg/kg, p.o.). Thirty minutes after oral administration of drug, 0.1 ml of CFA (0.05% Mycobacterium butyricum in mineral oil) was injected into the subplantar surface of the left hind paw by a 26 gauge needle. This was designated as day 0. Drug treatment was continued for duration of 11 more days. Physical parameters like change in body weight [15], paw volume [15], paw diameter [15] were measured on days 0, 4, 7, 14 and 21. On day 21, Arthritic Index [15] was found and blood was collected from Retro-orbital sinus of rats for measurement of hematological parameters like RBC [16], Hb [17], ESR [18] and Total WBC [17,19] count and specific indicator of arthritis i.e. Rheumatoid Factor [20]. The synovial joints were also collected from the same day for histopathological [15] and radio graphical examinations [21] by sacrificing rats.

Statistical analysis

All the parametric data obtained from the various parameters were statistically evaluated by one way Analysis of Variance Test (ANOVA) followed by Dunnett’s post test while non parametric data were analysed by Wilcoxon sign rank test. Data were expressed as Mean ± SEM and P values less than 0.05 (p<0.05) were used as the significant level. Statistical analysis was done using Graph Pad Prism software, version 5.03.


Phytochemical screening outcomes of MEPC

The Methanolic Extract of Pentatropis Capensis (MEPC) was subjected to phytochemical investigation. The results revealed the presence of steroids, alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, tannins and glycosides in the extract.

Results of formaldehyde induced arthritis model

Effect of MEPC on Paw volume in formaldehyde induced arthritis: Rat paw volume decreased with rise in dose of MEPC showing the decline in paw volume in dose dependent manner. Graph of percentage reduction in paw volume vs. dose of MEPC was plotted and ED50 was found to be 140 mg/kg and it was used in CFA model (Table 1, Figure 1).