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The Indian Magical Herb 'Sanjeevni' (Selaginella bryopteris L.) - A Promising Anti-inflammatory Phytomedicine for the Treatment of Patients with Inflammatory Skin Diseases

  • Paswan, Shravan Kumar (Department of Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology, National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR)) ;
  • Gautam, Arti (Amity Institute of Pharmacy, Amity University) ;
  • Verma, Pritt (Department of Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology, National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR)) ;
  • Rao, Chandana Venkateswara (Department of Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology, National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR)) ;
  • Sidhu, Om Prakash (Department of Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology, National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR)) ;
  • Singh, Ajeet Pratap (Department of Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology, National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR)) ;
  • Srivastava, Sajal (Amity Institute of Pharmacy, Amity University)
  • Received : 2017.02.22
  • Accepted : 2017.05.04
  • Published : 2017.06.30

Abstract

Objectives: Selaginella bryopteris L. (family: Selaginaceae), is often used in traditional Indian systems of medicine for the prevention and cure of several disorders and for the treatment of patient with spermatorrhoea, venereal disease, constipation, colitis, urinary tract infections, fever, epilepsy, leucorrhoea, beri-beri and cancer. It is also used as a strength tonic. This study aimed to evaluate the mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory effects of topically administered aqueous, polar and non-polar methanolic fractions ($10mg/20{\mu}L$) of Selaginella bryopteris. Methods: An acute oral toxicity study of Selaginella bryopteris at doses from 250 to 2,000 mg/kg body weight (bw) was performed. Aqueous, polar and non-polar methanolic extracts ($10mg/20{\mu}L$) applied topically for 5 days were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory effects against 12-tetra-O-decanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA)- induced inflammation by using the redness in the ear, the ear's weight (edema), oxidative stress parameters, such as lipid-peroxide (LPO) and nitric oxide (NO), and the pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in inflammation, such as tumour necrosis factor $(TNF)-{\alpha}$, interleukin $(IL)-1{\beta}$ and IL-6. Indomethacine ($0.5mg/20{\mu}L$) was used for the positive control. Results: Selaginella bryopteris produced no mortalities when administered orally at doses from 250 to 2,000 mg/kg bw. Topical treatment with the non-polar methanolic fraction ($10mg/20{\mu}L$) significantly suppressed redness ($2.4{\pm}0.5$) and edema ($30.4{\pm}1$) and effectively reduced the LPO level ($32.3{\pm}3.3$). The NO level was ($8.07{\pm}0.55$), and the $TNF-{\alpha}$, $IL-1{\beta}$, and IL-6 levels were decreased to $69.6{\pm}15.5$, $7.7{\pm}4.8$ and $82.6{\pm}5.9$, respectively. Conclusion: This study demonstrated for the first time the mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory effect of medicinal plants like Selaginella bryopteris and quantified the pharmacological interactions between them. The present study showed this herbal product to be a promising anti-inflammatory phytomedicine for the treatment of patients with inflammatory skin diseases.

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