Anti-inflammatory evaluation of immature fruit and seed aqueous extracts from several populations of Tunisian Citrullus colocynthis Schrad
Plant extracts are some of the most attractive sources of new drugs and have shown promising results for the treatment of inflammation and immune-related diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. Citrullus colocynthis Schrad. (Cucurbitaceae) endemic in Tunisia, is widely used in folk medicine to treat many inflammation disorders. The aim of this study is to quantify the alkaloid and the flavonoid levels of different populations of C. colocynthis fruit and seed aqueous extracts at immature state. After acute toxicity assay, these extracts were screened for anti-inflammatory activity using the carrageenaninduced paw edema assay in rats. Alkaloid and flavonoid levels vary among the population. The best anti-inflammatory activities were obtained with immature fruits from south Tunisia. Therefore, C. colocynthis Schrad. could be a potential useful product suitable for further evaluation for inflammatory diseases.
Key words: Citrullus colocynthis Schrad., alkaloids, flavonoids, toxicity, anti-inflammatory, Tunisia.