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Gastro-Protective Effects of the Leaf Extract and Fractions of Fleurya aestuans L (Urticaceae)

Akah PA, Onyirioha CA, Nworu CS* and Ndu OO

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 410001, Enugu State, Nigeria.

*For Correspondence: E-mail:


 Received:   05-Oct-08        Revised: 30-Dec-08           Accepted: 31-Dec-08


International Journal of Health Research, March 2009; 2(1): 65-73 (e218p71-79)


Original Research Article




Purpose: To investigate the gastroprotective properties of the methanol leaf extract and fractions of Fleurya aestuans L (Urticaceae) in rodents.

Methods: Anti-ulcer effect was evaluated in three ulcer models induced by ethanol, indomethacin and hypothermic- restraint stress in rats. Other anti-ulcer related activities of the extract such as the effects on gastrointestinal motility, and the activity on contractions evoked by standard agonists on isolated guinea pig ileum were also determined.

Results: Increasing concentrations of the extracts and fractions did not produce spasmogenic effect on the isolated guinea pig ileum, but produced a dose-related inhibition of contractile responses to histamine and acetylcholine with IC50 range of 0.245-0.525 and 0.525-1.525 mg/ml, respectively. In the ethanol-induced ulcer models, administration of the extracts of F. aestuans at 400 mg/kg reduced the ulcer indices of all the treated groups, but significant (p < 0.05) ulcer protection was shown by the n-hexane and the methanol fractions. The rats were also significantly protected from the indomethacin-induced ulceration by the methanol extract (p < 0.05). The methanol extract and the n-hexane fraction conferred significant (p < 0.05) gastro-protection against ulcers induced by cold restraint (stress) in rats. Administration of the ethylacetate fraction (EF, 400 mg/kg) and the n-hexane fraction (HF, 400 mg/kg) produced significant (p < 0.05) anti-peristaltic activity reducing gastrointestinal motility in mice in a dose-related manner.

Conclusion: The leaf extracts of F. aestuans possess gatroprotective properties could justify folklore uses of the plant in peptic ulcer diseases.


Keywords: Anti-ulcer activity, Fleurya aestuans, gastro-protection, peptic ulcers 

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