Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del has been used in various traditional medicines against inflammation and pain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the enzymatic, anti-oedmeatous and analgesic activities of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del root bark in mice. The extracts were tested in vitro for their ability to inhibit the enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2, 15-lipoxygenase (LOX) and phospholipase (sPLA2). The anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts was determined by oral administration to healthy animals at doses of 100, 200, 400 and 600 mg/kg and their involvement in KATP pathways was verified. The percentage inhibition of the activity of the enzyme phospholipase A2 was close to 50%, those of COXs (COX 1 and COX 2) comparable to those of the control. It has an ability to inhibit 15-LOX even if the IC 50 is lower than that of the reference compound (Zileuton). Pretreatment with the extract at doses of 100 to 600 mg/kg significantly reduced carrageenan-induced edema from 54.91 to 71.80%. The action of the extract significantly decreased the number of contortions with a percentage inhibition greater than 50% for doses of 400 and 600 mg/kg. The action of the extract is not involved in potassium channels (KATP) in nociception. Pharmacological observed activities provide the scientific basis for the medicinal use of the plant in the treatment of acute inflammation.
Key words: Balanites argyptiaca, phospholipase A2, cyclooxygenases, lipoxygenase, anti-edema activity, analgesic.
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