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Purpose: The bark of E. utile is claimed in Nigerian traditional medicine to have antiulcer properties. We therefore tested its effectiveness in experimental acute gastric and duodenal ulcer models.
Methods: Ulcers generated as lesions, from pin-point craters to larger eruptions, were quantified qualitatively for cold-restraint, immobilization, pylorus ligation, and aspirin induced gastric ulcers and for histamine or
cysteamine induced duodenal ulcers. Ethanol or histamine induced hemorrhagic gastric lesions were quantified by planimetry and a dose-related effectiveness of the aqueous extract of E. utile was determined. Data were compared using Student’s t-test. At 95% confidence interval, any 2-tailed p value <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Using qualitative evaluation, the extract of E. utile or standard drugs (cimetidine, ranitidine, or nocloprost) did not significantly reduce gastric ulcer incidence and/or ulcer severity. E. utile was ineffective
for duodenal ulcers. Using the quantitative methods, histamine, 5 mg kg-1 i.p. in guinea pigs produced 100% incidence of gastric ulcers with a mean ulcer index (UI) of 55.4 ± 8.38. In this model, 100 mg kg -1 cimetidine
lowered the incidence to 60% and the UI to 17 ± 9.9 (p<0.0005) while 5 x 10-3g kg-1 E. utile lowered the incidence to 80% and the index to 15.88 ± 11.8 (p<0.01). Similarly 1 ml absolute ethanol given orally in rats produced 100% incidence and UI of 49.2 ± 12.69. In this model, 100 ìg kg-1 nocloprost reduced the incidence to 33% and the mean UI to 10.15 ± 0.55 (p<0.01); E. utile (50 mg kg-1) prevented ethanol induced hemorrhagic gastric mucosal damage (p<0.005).
Conclusion: E. utile protected the gastric mucosa against acute noxious assault.
Keywords: Peptic ulcer, anti-ulcer, E. utile