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Pharmaceutical Biology
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 48  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 242 - 246

Evaluation of cytotoxicity and anticonvulsant activity of some Iranian medicinal Ferula species

Seyyed Majid Bagheri, Amirhossein Sahebkar, Ahmad Reza Gohari, Soodabeh Saeidnia, Maryam Malmir and Mehrdad Iranshahi    

Abstract: Several Ferula (Umbelliferae) species have been used in Iranian traditional medicine as antiflatulent, antispasmodic, anticonvulsant, expectorant, etc. In the present study, cytotoxicity and anticonvulsant activity of the methanol extracts from several Ferula species were evaluated. Air-dried samples of different parts of these plants (Ferula diversivittata Regel & Schmalh. (roots), Ferula persica Willd. (aerial parts), Ferula ovina (Boiss.) Boiss. (roots), Ferula badrakema Kos.-Pol. (roots), Ferula diversivittata (flowers), Ferula latisecta Rech. F. & Aell. (roots), and Ferula badrakema (fruits)) were macerated with methanol for 3 days. The mixtures were then filtered, concentrated and dried. For determination of the cytotoxicity of the extracts and also the oleo-gum-resin of F. assafoetida L., the brine shrimp (Artemia salina) was employed as a model assay system since it provides a convenient in-house pre-screening method for evaluating general cytotoxicity. The methanol extracts of different Ferula species and the oleo-gum-resin of F. assafoetida exhibited cytotoxic effect with LC50 values in the range of 6-321 μg/mL. For the anticonvulsant testing, seizure was induced by injection of pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), 90 mg/kg intraperitoneally (i.p.). This dose was given to 10 groups, each consisting of 6 mice, which were pretreated i.p. with the extracts (300 mg/kg), Diazepam (10 mL/kg) or saline (10 mL/kg). The results showed that none of the tested Ferula species can prevent PTZ-induced seizure at the used dose. In conclusion, all of the extracts and the oleo-gum resin of F. assafoetida showed dose-dependent cytotoxicity which was highest in F. badrakema fruits and lowest in F. badrakema roots. Our findings also revealed that the methanol extracts and F. assafoetida oleo-gum resin do not possess anticonvulsant activity.

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