Antiulcerogenic Effects and Possible Mechanism of Action of Quassia Amara (L. Simaroubaceae) Extract and Its Bioactive Principles in Rats
The effects of Quassia amara extract (Q. amara) and its bioactive principles-quassin and 2-methoxycanthin-6-one on gastric ulceration were studied in albino rats. Q. amara (200-800 mg/kg p.o.; 5-20 mg/kg i.p) and 2-methoxycanthin-6-one (12.5, 25.0 and 50.0 mg/kg p.o; 1, 2 and 4 mg/kg i.p) but not quassin (12.5, 25.0 and 50 mg/kg p.o; 1, 2 and 4 mg/kg i.p) significantly inhibited gastric ulceration induced by indomethacin (40mg/kg). Administration of Q. amara (800 mg/kg p.o and 20 mg/kg i.p) and 2-methoxycanthin-6-one (12.5 mg/kg p.o; 4 mg/kg i.p) caused between 77%-85% cytoprotection against indomethacin (40 mg/kg, i.p) – induced gastric ulceration. Quassin did not cause any significant change in indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration. The inhibition of gastric ulceration produced by Q. amara and 2-methoxycanthin-6 one was accompanied by significant dosedependent
decreases (P< 0.01) in total gastric acidity. To investigate the probable mechanism of action, the individual effects of the extract and its principles alone and in combination with histamine (1 mg/kg) or cimetidine (0.12 mg/kg) on gastric acid secretion in situ were studied. Q. amara (20 mg/kg) and 2-methoxycanthin-6-one (4 mg/kg) but not quassin significantly (P< 0.01) inhibited the basal and histamine-induced gastric acid secretion. Inhibition of gastric acid secretion by Q. amara and 2-methoxycanthin-6-one was accentuated by cimetidine. The results suggest that Q. amara and its bioactive principle, 2- methoxycanthin-6-one possess antiulcer activity probably acting via histamine H2 receptor. This could be a potential source of potent and effective antiulcer agents.
Keywords: Quassia amara; gastric ulceration; gastric acid; quassin; 2-methoxycanthin-6-one; rat