Inflammatory bowel diseases are characterized by a chronic clinical course of relapse and remission associated with self-destructive inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Active extracts from plants have emerged as natural potential candidates for its treatment. Abarema cochliacarpos (Gomes) Barneby & Grimes, Fabaceae (Barbatimão), is a native medicinal plant in to Brazil. Previously we have demonstrated in an acute colitis model a marked protective effect of a butanolic extract, so we decided to assess its anti-inflammatory effect in a chronic ulcerative colitis model induced by trinitrobenzensulfonic acid (TNBS). Abarema cochliacarpos (150 mg/day, v.o.) was administered for fourteen consecutive days. This treatment decreased significantly macroscopic damage as compared with TNBS. Histological analysis showed that the extract improved the microscopic structure. Myeloperoxidase activity (MPO) was significantly decreased. Study of cytokines showed that TNF-α was diminished and IL-10 level was increased after Abarema cochliacarpos treatment. In order to elucidate inflammatory mechanisms, expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were studied showing a significant downregulation. In addition, there was reduction in the JNK and p-38 activation. Finally, IκB degradation was blocked by Abarema cochliacarpos treatment being consistent with an up-regulation of the NF-kappaB-binding activity. These results reinforce the anti-inflammatory effects described previously suggesting that Abarema cochliacarpos could provide a source for the search for new anti-inflammatory compounds useful in ulcerative colitis treatment.
Os modelos de desenvolvimento sócio-econômicos adotados pela sociedade humana refletem diferentes formas de relacionamento com a natureza, as quais no paradigma vigente têm levado à grande perda de recursos naturais. Na esfera dessa relação, a conservação e preservação da biodiversidade da flora medicinal torna-se fundamental, pela importância que as plantas medicinais assumem como potencial genético para o desenvolvimento de novas drogas, e como acesso primário à saúde para muitas comunidades. Utilizando a abordagem etnofarmacológica na pesquisa de plantas medicinais, este trabalho teve por objetivo estudar as plantas medicinais utilizadas popularmente contra distúrbios do trato gastrintestinal no povoado Colônia Treze em Lagarto, SE, comunidade que tem o uso popular das plantas medicinais inserido em sua cultura. Sua metodologia abrangeu trabalho de campo na comunidade, adotando o método etnográfico qualitativo rápido. A amostra foi composta por líderes da comunidade, usuários de plantas e praticantes da medicina popular. Baseando-se nas indicações populares sobre o uso das plantas medicinais, selecionaram-se oito plantas que foram submetidas aos experimentos farmacológicos. As plantas testadas no Modelo de Trânsito Intestinal não produziram alteração na motilidade. Já as submetidas ao Modelo de Indução de Lesão Gástrica aguda, mostraram-se efetivas na atividade antiulcerogênica. A partir destes resultados propõem-se estratégias de desenvolvimento local para esta comunidade, que aliem a conservação da flora medicinal à melhoria de sua qualidade de vida.
Models of socioeconomic development adopted by human societies reflect different ways of relating to Nature, which, given the present paradigm, have evolved towards great natural-resource loss. Within the sphere of this relationship, both the conservation and preservation of medicinal-plant biodiversity are fundamental because of the importance of medicinal plants as genetic potential for the development of new drugs, and as the primary access to health care for many communities. Using an ethnopharmacological approach in the study of medicinal plants, this work aimed to study the medicinal plants popularly used for gastro-intestinal tract ailments, at Colonia Treze village, in Lagarto/Sergipe, since this community is culturally attuned to the use of medicinal plants. Methodology consisted of field work within the community, adopting the ethnographic Rapid Assessment Procedure. The sample was composed of community leaders, plant users and practitioners of folk medicine. Based on their indications of medicinal-plant use, eight plants were selected and subject to pharmacological experimental tests. Plants tested by the Intestinal Transit Model did not provoke alterations in motility. However, those that underwent the Acute Gastric Lesion Induction Model proved to be effective in anti-ulcerogenic activity. Based on these results, strategies for local development at the community level are proposed, which will tie the conservation of medicinal flora to improvements in life quality.