Planta Med 1997; 63(3): 199-202
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-957652
Pharmacology and Molecular Biology
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Aqueous Extracts and Steroidal Sapogenins of Agave americana

Alessandra T. Peana1 , Mario D. L Moretti1 , Vincenza Manconi2 , Guiseppe Desole2 , Proto Pippia2
  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Università di Sassari, via Muroni 23/a, I-07100 Sassari, Italy
  • 2Istituto di Fisologia Generale e Chimica Biologica, Università di Sassari, via Muroni 25,I-07100 Sassari, Italy
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Publication History



Publication Date:
04 January 2007 (online)


Lyophilized aqueous extracts obtained from Agave americana L. (Agavaceae) collected in the north of Sardinia were characterized with regard to their steroidal sapogenin content. Extracts of A. americana and genins isolated from them were evaluated for anti-inflammatory properties by testing their effects on carrageenin-induced edema. The effect of orally administered genins on gastric mucous membranes was also assessed. Lyophilized extracts administered by the intraperitoneal route at doses equivalent to 200 and 300 mg/kg of fresh plant starting material, showed good anti-inflammatory activity. Doses of genins (total steroidal sapogenins, hecogenin and tigogenin) equivalent to the amount in the lyophilized extracts produced an antiedenlatous effect which was much stronger and more efficacious than that obtained with an i.p. administration of 5 mg/kg of indomethacin or dexamethasone 21-phosphate at a dose equivalent to the molar content of hecogenin administered. At the doses used to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity, the genins did not have any harmful effect on the gastric mucous membranes. Lesions occurred when significantly higher doses of hecogenin were given, but gastric damage was still less than that caused by the drugs used for comparative purposes.