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Traditional Medicine Heteropterys cotinifolia: A Neuropharmacological and Phytochemical Approach with Possible Taxonomic Implications

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Heteropterys cotinifolia (Malpighiaceae) has been used in traditional Mexican medicine mainly for the treatment of nervous disorders. However, the specific neuropharmacological activities responsible for this use remain to be defined. The present study evaluates the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects produced by the methanolic extract of Heteropterys cotinifolia and the influence of such effects on motor activity in ICR mice. Our results show that the methanolic extract of Heteropterys cotinifolia produces a dose-dependent antidepressant effect in the forced swimming test in mice at doses from 31 to 310 mg/kg, with no reduction of mice locomotion. However, no anxiolytic properties were observed.  Our findings suggest that the main extract compounds identified as chlorogenic acid and rutin may be involved in the antidepressant effects. The presence of flavonoids in the methanolic extract of Heteropterys cotinifolia may also provide further data to characterize taxonomically this species in order to be distinguished from others species closely related and belonging to the same genus.  According with recent reports, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties could be involved in the progression and chronicity of various CNS diseases and cancers. Since the fact that other species from the genus Heteropterys possess outstanding antioxidant properties and the flavonoid content finding in this extract, we continue our investigations on the methanolic extract of   Heteropterys cotinifolia from which, the flavonoid 5,4´-dihydroxy-3,6-dimetoxiflavone was isolated. The extract and flavonoid showed significant antioxidant effect  in DPPH and TBARS assays, while IC50 values for extract (24.46±5.96) (25.92±0.56) and flavonoid (9.54±0.14) (35.88±2.24), respectively, were higher than references. Flavonoid exhibited a high percentage of inhibition (>50%) against the total cancer cell lines evaluated, contrasting with extract (<11.90%). However, no antiinflammatory activities were observed in TPA-induced ear edema in ICR-strain mice. Taking all this information together, Heteropterys cotinifolia possesses additional to neuropharmacological activities

Author(s)  Details

Maira Huerta-Reyes
Unidad de Investigación Médica en Enfermedades Nefrológicas, Hospital de Especialidades “Dr. Bernardo Sepúlveda Gutiérrez”, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Av. Cuauhtémoc No. 330, Col. Doctores, Alcaldía Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06720, Ciudad de México, México and Centro de Investigación Biomédica del Sur, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Argentina No. 1, Col. Centro, C.P. 62790, Xochitepec, Morelos, México and Unidad de Investigación Médica en Farmacología, Hospital de Especialidades “Dr. Bernardo Sepúlveda Gutiérrez”, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Av. Cuauhtémoc No. 330, Col. Doctores, Alcaldía Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06720, Ciudad de México, México.

Rafael Álvarez-Chimal
Instituto de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Del. Coyoacán 04510, Ciudad de México, México

 Arturo Aguilar-Rojas
Centro de Investigación Biomédica del Sur, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Argentina No. 1, Col. Centro, C.P. 62790, Xochitepec, Morelos, México and Unidad de Investigación Médica en Medicina Reproductiva, UMAE en Ginecología y Obstetricia No. 4 “Dr. Luis Castelazo Ayala”, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Av. Río Magdalena No. 289, Col. Tizapán San Ángel, C.P. 01090, Delegación Álvaro Obregón. México D.F., México.

Manuel Jiménez-Estrada
Instituto de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Del. Coyoacán 04510, Ciudad de México, México.

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