The mouse tail model was used to measure and compare antipsoriatic activity of Acalypha wilkesiana and Culcasia scandens with that of earlier reported Kigelia africana stem methanol extract by the same authors, with the objective of finding out which of these plant extracts can be a better drug option for the treatment of psoriasis. The results obtained showed that topically administered extracts (50-200 mg/ml) induced a significant and dose-dependent increase in %orthokeratosis in the epidermis of the mice tails. % orthokeratosis values were 35.5-43.4 (A. wikesiana), 29.7-47.4 (K. africana), 31.9-36.5 (C. scandens) for the methanol ointments; 29.3-36.2 (A. wikesiana), 32.3-58.2 (K. africana), 29.40-56.2 (C. scandens) for the hexane extracts. In general, the methanol extracts produced higher % othokeratosis. No deterioration in the general condition of the mice in any group was observed. However, erythema was observed on the tails of the mice on which the K. africana stem methanol extract ointment (200 mg/ml) was applied. No tail erythema was observed in any other group. Application of the ointments resulted in the softening of the tails. In general, the irritation potentials of the ointments were relatively low when compared to that induced by dithranol a drug commonly used in the treatment of psoriasis. Only the A. wilkesiana methanol extract ointment (200 mg/ml) showed greater than 40% drug activity. Thus, A. wilkesiana appears to be the better plant for use in possible drug development for the management and cure of psoriasis because A. wilkesiana ointment showed more prospects of being an antipsoriatic topical agent when compared to C. scandens or K. africana, as the drug activity of the methanol extract of this plant was greater than 40% and quite similar to that of K. africana without the corresponding irritation potential or erythema.
Key words: Psoriasis, mouse-tail model, Acalypha wilkesiana, Culcasia scandens, Kigelia africana, dithranol drug activity, irritation potential.
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