Antidiarrheal and Antispasmodic Activities of Stephania Abyssinica (Minspermaseae) Used In Ethiopian Traditional Medicine

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Addis Ababa University


Diarrhea is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Diarrhea may result from disturbance in bowel function in which case there is increased bowel transit, excessive intestinal secretion of water and electrolytes, decreased intestinal reabsorptions as well as more frequent defecations of loose, watery stool. Many plant preparations have claimed activities and traditional used as antidiarrhea and antispasmodic. S. abyssinica is traditionally used for treatment of diarrhea and stomachache in Ethiopia. The aim of this work was to evaluate the antidiarrheal and antispasmodic activities of the aqueous and methanol extract of the root and leaf of S. abyssinica. Antidiarrheal activities were studied in mice using castor oil-induced diarrhea at doses of 25, 50,100, and 200 mg/kg body weight. The extracts significantly prolonged the time of diarrheal induction, increased diarrhea free time, reduced the frequency of diarrhea episodes, decreased the weight of stool, and decreased general diarrheal score in a dose dependent way. With dose of 200 mg/kg the extracts produced higher in-vivo antidiarrheal index (ADI) than the reference loperamide. ADI of loperamide, SALM, SALA, SARM and SARA was 77.33, 88.79, 89.21, 91.08 and 82.23, respectively. In Entropooling test in mice the extract significantly (p < 0.01) inhibited intestinal fluid accumulations of mice in a dose dependent fashion; with dose of 100 mg/kg from1.03±0.093 ml of the control to 0.403±0.019ml, 0.210±0.018 ml, 0.494±0.012ml and 0.288±0.026ml by SALM, SARM, SALA and SARA respectively. The antispasmodic activity studies were performed as in vitro and in vivo models. The in-vitro antispasmodic activity studies were performed on isolated GPI. The methanol and aqueous extracts of the leaf showed significant and concentration dependent inhibition of acetylcholine induced contraction of isolated GPI. The extracts depressed Emax of Ach, and decreased PD2 value of the Ach. The Emax of Ach at conc of 10-3M is decreased (from100 for the control group) i viii by SALM with concentration of 200 and 100 ug/ml to 45.6±2.13 and 73.2±3.04 respectively, whereas by SALA with 200 and 100 ug/ml to 62.0±2.98 and 74.8±2.46 respectively. In the in vivo antispasmodic activity test, the extract significantly decreased the peristaltic index (PI). In normal transit test, the PI of SALM, SALA, SARM and SARA with dose of 200 mg/kg was all 0.00 (100% suppression of normal peristalsis). However in castor oil induced transit with dose of 200 mg/kg the peristaltic index (PI) of SALM, SALA, SARM and SARA was 26.67, 36.85, 22.00 and 40.65 respectively. The result of this study indicated that the plant extract possesses antidiarrheal and antispasmodic activities and proves the fact that this plant is used in traditional medicine for treatment of diarrhea, stomachache and abdominal cramp. Key words: S. abyssinica, antidiarrheal, antispasmodic, antienteropooling, aqueous and methanol extract, animal (mice or guinea pig)



Abyssinica; antidiarrheal; Antispasmodic; Antienteropooling; Aqueous and methanol extract; animal (mice or guinea pig)