Shikha Sharma, Sonu Chand Thakur
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi-110025, India.



Present study investigates the anti-rheumatic potential of Centella asiatica methanolic extract against both inflammation and oxidative stress in collagen-induced arthritic animal model. Aqueous, methanol, acetone, chloroform and hexane extracts from flowers of C.asiatica were first subjected for phytochemical screening followed by in-vitro free radical scavenging assays employing various established models in a cell free system. Thereafter, based on the significant results, methanolic extract was further checked for its probable anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects in the rat model of collagen induced arthritis. Rats were immunized twice with porcine type II collagen. C.asiatica extract (150mg/kg body weight/day) was orally administered for 15 days that induces an important decrease in CIA severity. The anti-inflammatory activity was assessed by behavioral tests and macroscopically for redness, arthritic scoring, swelling and deformities alongwith the measurement of paw diameter and body weight. To understand the inflammation condition of treated animals, production of inflammatory mediators like TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12 and nitric oxide were assessed in both plasma and joint exudates. Results showed that C. asiatica extract significantly inhibited the footpad swelling and arthritic symptoms in collagen-induced arthritic rats and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines were also found to be decreased in the C. asiatica treated group. Severity of arthritis within the knee joints was evaluated by histological assessment of cartilage destruction and pannus formation. Histopathological assessment showed reduced inflammatory cells infiltrate, tissue edema and bone erosion in joints of treated rats. Radiographic evidence of protection from bone resorption, soft tissue swelling and joint narrowing was apparent in the tibiotarsal joints of C. asiatica treated rats. So, all parameters of inflammation were attenuated by C. asiatica extract and standard anti-inflammatory drug, indomethacin (1mg/kg body weight/day) treatment. The endogenous biological defence system constituting the superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione transferase, lactate dehydrogenase, glyoxalase-I, lipid peroxide and protein carbonyl contents decreased to a large extent in spleen and joint cytosolic fraction in C. asiatica extract treated rats. In conclusion, it could be suggested that C. asiatica extract being anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant in nature could be safely used for suppressing the severity of joint destruction in CIA. Read more…

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