A Comparative Study upon the Therapeutic Indices of Some Natural and Synthetic Anti-inflammatory Agents

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Toxicology Research Centre, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran


The aim of the present study was to compare the therapeutic indices of several agents used in treatment of inflammatory conditions which included: Vitamin E, hydro-alcoholic extracts of Glycyrrhiza glabra, Matricaria aurea, dexamethasone, piroxicam and diclofenac using Wehi-164 fibrosarcoma cells.
Materials and Methods
Cytotoxicity evaluation was based on vital dye exclusion assay. Matrix-metalloproteinases inhibition (MMPI) was assessed by gelatinase zymography method. The collected data were used to estimate the IC50 (50% MMPI concentration), LC50 (50% cytotoxicity concentration) and the therapeutic index (LC50/IC50).
Among the natural anti-inflammatory agents used, M. aurea was the least toxic and the most effective inhibitor of MMP. Vitamin E not only increased MMP activity, but also was the most toxic of all the agents tested. Next in terms of toxicity to vitamin E was G. glabra. Diclofenac was more toxic than both piroxicam and dexamethasone.
Findings from this study suggest that medicinal plants reputed to have anti-inflammatory properties are not equally effective and safe. In order to assess the implications of these findings, further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed.


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