Antinociceptive activity of Quillaja saponaria Mol. saponin extract, quillaic acid and derivatives in mice

Sylvia Arrau, Carla Delporte, Carlos Cartagena, Maité Rodríguez-Díaz, Patricia González, Ximena Silva, Bruce K. Cassels, Hugo F. Miranda

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Quillaja saponaria bark contains a high percentage of triterpene saponins and has been used for centuries as a cleansing and analgesic agent in Chilean folk medicine. Aim of the study: The topical and systemic analgesic effects of a commercial partially purified saponin extract, 3β,16α-dihydroxy-23-oxoolean-12-en-28-oic acid (quillaic acid), methyl 3β,16α-dihydroxy-23-oxoolean-12-en-28-oate and methyl 4-nor-3,16-dioxoolean-12-en-28-oate. Materials and methods: The samples were assessed in mice using the topical tail-flick and i.p. hot-plate tests, respectively. Results: All the samples showed activity in both analgesic tests in a dose-dependent manner. The most active against tail flick test was commercial partially purified saponin extract (EC50 27.9 mg%, w/v) and more than the ibuprofen sodium. On hot-plate test, methyl 4-nor-3, 16-dioxoolean-12-en- 28-oate was the most active (ED50 12.2 mg/kg) and more than the ibuprofen sodium. Conclusions: The results of the present study demonstrated that Quillaja saponaria saponins, quillaic acid, its methyl ester, and one of the oxidized derivatives of the latter, elicit dose-dependent antinociceptive effects in two murine thermal models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-167
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2011


  • Analgesic activity
  • Hot-plate assay
  • Quillaic acid
  • Quillaic acid derivatives
  • Quillaja saponaria
  • Tail-flick assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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