Planta Med 1999; 65(1): 050-055
DOI: 10.1055/s-1999-13962
Original Paper

Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Study of the Antinociceptive Action of the Ethanolic Extract and the Triterpene 24-Hydroxytormentic Acid Isolated from the Stem Bark of Ocotea suaveolens

Alessandra Beirith1 , Adair R. S. Santos1 , João B. Calixto1 , Sônia C. Hess1 , Irene Messana2 , Franco Ferrari3 , Rosendo A. Yunes4
  • 1Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
  • 2Departamento de Morfofisiologia (DMF/CCBS/UFMS), Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, MS, Brazil
  • 3Centro Chimica del Recettori e Molecole Biologicament e Attive del C.N.R., Universitá Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
  • 4Departamento de Química, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
Weitere Informationen


March 12, 1998

August 29, 1998

31. Dezember 1999 (online)


We describe here the antinociceptive action of the crude extract (CE), the chemical isolation and characterisation and preliminary pharmacological analysis of 24-hydroxytormentic acid, isolated from the stem bark of Ocotea suaveolens (Lauraceae). The CE given by i.p. or p.o. routes, 30 min and 1 h prior, produced significant inhibition of abdominal constrictions caused by acetic acid and also inhibited both phases of formalin-induced licking in mice. The antinociception caused by the CE, given by i.p. and p.o. routes, lasted up to 4 and 2 h, respectively. When assessed in the hot-plate test, the CE was inactive. Its antinociceptive action was not associated with non-specific effects such as muscle relaxation or sedation. The antinociception of CE was not influenced by naloxone, L-arginine or DL-p -chlorophenylalanine methyl ester, when assessed against the formalin assay. The triterpene 24-hydroxytormentic acid, given i.p. 30 min before testing, produced significant, dose-related and equipotent antinociceptive action against both phases of formalin-induced licking in mice. These results demonstrate, for the first time, the occurrence of the triterpene 24-hydroxytormentic acid in the stem bark of Ocotea suaveolens, and show that the CE and 24-hydroxytormentic acid exhibit marked antinociception against the neurogenic and the inflammatory algesic responses induced by formalin in mice. The mechanism by which this compound and CE produces antinociception still remains unclear, but is unlikely to involve the activation of opioid, nitric oxide or serotonin systems or non-specific peripheral or central depressant actions.