The present work is focused on the evaluation of the Maytenus senegalensis roots effect on bronchial hyperleukocytosis and the search of its antioxidant potential both in vitro and in vivo. The roots of M. senegalensis (Celastraceae) are traditionally used for the treatment of cough and asthma. This study evaluates the effect of the hydroalcoholic extract of the roots of M. senegalensis on the bronchial hyperleukocytosis that occur during airway inflammation and determine its antioxidant capacity. In an eight days mouse asthma model sensitized to ovalbumin, the effect of the hydroethanolic extract of M. senegalensis on infiltration of leukocytes in general and eosinophils particularly in the airways was studied. The antioxidant activity of the extract was evaluated in vitro by the tests of DPPH, nitric oxide and AAPH then in vivo by the malondialdehyde dosage. The extract significantly inhibited bronchial infiltration of leukocytes in general, and eosinophils particularly (p<0.01; p<0.001). In vitro and in vivo, antioxidant tests revealed the reducing effect and the inhibitory of membrane lipoperoxidation potential of the extract. Phytochemical tests have shown that the extract contains polyphenols such as flavonoids. These compounds would be partly responsible for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of the extract. This study suggest that M. senegalensis roots would have an anti-inflammatory effect in asthma, which would be partially related to its antioxidant potential.
Key words: Maytenus senegalensis, asthma, bronchial inflammation, antioxidant.
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