Antidiarrheal Activity of the 80% Methanol Root Extract of Thalictrum ryhnchocarpum Dill. & A. Rich and Its Major Constituent Against Castor Oil- Induced Diarrhea in Mice

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Addis Abeba University


Diarrhea is one of the main causes of infant mortality in Ethiopia and in many other developing countries, causing about 4 to 8 million deaths annually worldwide. Despite recent reductions in morbidity and mortality worldwide, diarrhea still remains one of the leading causes of death in developing countries. Like many other developing countries, people in Ethiopia strongly rely on the therapeutic benefits of traditional medicine to treat diarrhea. One such plant is Thalictrum ryhnchocarpum Dill. & A. Rich. Thus, in the present study, the 80% methanol extract of the root of T. ryhnchocarpum and the compound isolated thereof have been evaluated for their antidiarrheal activity. Phytochemical investigation of the 80% methanol root extract of T. ryhnchocarpum by preparative TLC over silica gel resulted in the isolation of one major alkaloid unequivocally identified as berberine using various spectroscopic techniques, including MS, 13 C-NMR and DEPT spectral data. Both the total extract and berberine were tested for their in vivo antidiarrheal activity on three models namely, castor oil-induced diarrhea, charcoal meal and enteropooling models in mice. It was shown that both the extract and berberine possess significant antidiarrheal activity in a dosedependent manner on all the tested models. Particularly, the root extract showed the maximum activity on castor oil-induced diarrhea model, with 71.4%, 74.0% and 78.0 % (P < 0.01) and berberine displayed even higher activity with 81.0%, 87.6 % and 88.3% at tested concentration of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg, respectively. Antidiarrheal activity of the root extract and berberine was also noted on the other two models. When administered up to a dose of 2000 mg/kg, neither the root extract nor berberine showed acute toxicity in Swiss albino mice. In view of the present results, it can be concluded that the root extract of T. ryhnchocarpum and berberine could serve for the treatment of diarrhea thereby supporting the traditional claim of the plant against diarrhea.



Thalictrum ryhnchocarpum, Acute toxicity, Antidiarrheal activity, Berberine, Castor oil-induced diarrhea, Anti-enteropooling, Gastro-intestinal transit.