Gorgonians of the genus Eunicella are known for possessing a wide range of pharmacological activities such as antiproliferative and antibacterial effect. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective effect of the organic extract and its semi-purified fractions from the white gorgonian Eunicella singularis and the isolation and identification of pure compound(s) from the more effective fraction.
Anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated, using the carrageenan-induced rat paw edema test and in comparison to the reference drug Acetylsalicylate of Lysine. The gastroprotective activity was determined using HCl/EtOH induced gastric ulcers in rats. The purification of compound(s) from the more effective fraction was done by two chromatographic methods (HPLC and MPLC). The structure elucidation was determined by extensive spectroscopic analysis (1H and 13C NMR, COSY, HMBC, HMQC and NOESY) and by comparison with data reported in the literature.
The evaluation of the anti-inflammatory activity of different fractions from Eunicella singularis showed in a dependent dose manner an important anti-inflammatory activity of the ethanol fraction, the percentage of inhibition of edema, 3 h after carrageenan injection was 66.12%, more effective than the reference drug (56.32%). In addition, this ethanolic fraction showed an interesting gastroprotective effect compared to the reference drugs, ranitidine and omeprazol. The percentage of inhibition of gastric ulcer induced by HCl/ethanol in rats was 70.27%. The percentage of the reference drugs (ranitidine and omeprazol) were 65 and 87.53%, respectively. The purification and structure elucidation of compound(s) from this ethanolic fraction were leading to the isolation of five sterols: cholesterol (5α-cholest-5-en-3β-ol) (1); ergosterol (ergosta-5,22-dien-3β-ol) (2); stigmasterol (24-ethylcholesta-5,22-dien-3b-ol) (3); 5α,8α-epidioxyergosta 6,22-dien-3β-ol (4) and 3β-hydroxy-5α,8α-epidioxyergosta-6-ene (5); and one diterpenoid: palmonine D (6).
Based on data presented here, we concluded that diterpenoids and sterols detected in the ethanolic fraction can be responsible for its pharmacological activity.
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