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Purpose: To evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of the root extracts and fractions of Zapoteca portoricensis. Methods: The root of Z. portoricensis was extracted with methanol and the extract (ME) subjected to activity-guided fractionation to obtain chloroform (CF), ethyl acetate (EF) and methanol (MF) fractions. CF was further separated into four column fractions (CF1-CF4). The crude methanol extract and all the fractions were screened for anti-inflammatory activity using eggalbumin induced rat paw edema as a model of inflammation. Results: The crude methanol extract (200 mg/kg) exhibited a significant (P<0.01) anti-inflammatory effect with edema inhibition of 71.9 % at 3 h. At 200 mg/kg, CF exhibited high and significant (P < 0.01) inhibition of edema (59.9 % at 3 h). EF (200 mg/kg) exhibited moderate inhibition of edema (29.8 % at 3 h) while MF (200 mg/kg) did not show any edema inhibition at 3 h. The column fractions CF1, CF3 and CF4 showed high and significant (P < 0.01) inhibition of edema (62.3, 60.9 and 66.7 %) respectively. The activities of these fractions are significantly higher than that of acetyl 100 mg/kg salycilic acid (45.6 % at 3 h). These column fractions on phytochemical analysis were shown to contain mainly terpenoids and steroids. Conclusion: Zapoteca portoricensis possesses significant anti-inflammatory activity in acute inflammation in rats. The terpenoids and steroids present in the column fractions may be responsible for the activity.
Keywords: Zapoteca portoricensis; Anti-inflammatory, Egg albumeninduced edema, Terpenoids; Steroids.