Chemical study and anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant activities of the leaves of Aristotelia chilensis (Mol.) Stuntz, Elaeocarpaceae

Orlando Muñoz, Philippe Christen, Sylvian Cretton, Nadine Backhouse, Vanessa Torres, Olosmira Correa, Edda Costa, Hugo Miranda, Carla Delporte

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Objectives Aristotelia chilensis leaves (Elaeocarpaceae) are used in Chilean folk medicine to treat pain and inflammation. A bioguided study was carried out on serial extracts (hexane, dichloromethane, methanol, aqueous extract (INFU) and a crude mixture of alkaloids (ALK-MIX). All extracts were evaluated for (1) topical administration against both arachidonic acid and 12-deoxyphorbol-13-decanoate (TPA)-induced inflammation in mice and (2) per-os administration against inflammation by λ-carrageenan-induced paw oedema in guinea-pigs and (3) topical analgesia in tail flick and formalin models and per-os writhing test in mice. Methods Greater anti-inflammatory effects were obtained against TPA with dichloromethane extract and methanol extract (63.9 and 66.0%, respectively). INFU showed the most potent effect (56.2%) against arachidonic acid. Greater effects were obtained in the writhing test with hexane and dichloromethane extracts (89.2% both). In the topical analgesia models, all the extracts and ALK-MIX were active with exception of the hexane extract in the formalin assay. In tail flick test, ALK-MIX and the methanol extract were the most active (58.2 and 55.2%, respectively). In relation to the tail formalin assay, the methanol extract (74.1%) was the most active. Concerning antioxidant activity, both INFU and the methanol extract were the most active either in the inhibition of xanthine oxidase (52.9 and 62.7%, respectively) or in the DPPH free radical scavenging activity (EC50 (concentration that produced 50% of activity) = 12.1 and 9.7 μg/ml, respectively). Key findings Aristoteline, aristone, serratoline and hobartinol were isolated from ALK-MIX. Ursolic acid, friedelin and quercetin 5,3′-dimethyl ether were present in the dichloromethane extract while quercetin 3-O-β-d-glucoside and kaempferol were present in the methanol extract. From INFU were isolated protopine, aristoteline and caffeic and ferulic acids. Conclusions The effects of A. chilensis are herein demonstrated, validating its use in traditional medicine. Protopine is reported for the first time in Elaeocarpaceae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-859
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Aristotelia chilensis
  • alkaloids
  • flavonoids
  • triterpenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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