Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3693

Full Length Research Paper

Preliminary phytochemical analysis and the effect of Agave sisalana on body weight and defensive behaviours in ovariectomized rats

Telma Gonçalves Carneiro Spera de Andrade
  • Telma Gonçalves Carneiro Spera de Andrade
  • Laboratory of Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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Yara Emilia Arlindo da Silva
  • Yara Emilia Arlindo da Silva
  • Laboratory of Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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Diego Gazoni Espinoza
  • Diego Gazoni Espinoza
  • Laboratory of Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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Leonardo Mateus de Lima
  • Leonardo Mateus de Lima
  • Laboratory of Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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Alessandra Karla de Oliveira Cezar
  • Alessandra Karla de Oliveira Cezar
  • Laboratory of Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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Isabella Gonçalves Carneiro Spera de Andrade
  • Isabella Gonçalves Carneiro Spera de Andrade
  • Laboratory of Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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Pedro de Oliva Neto
  • Pedro de Oliva Neto
  • Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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Julia Lainer Palacios
  • Julia Lainer Palacios
  • Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Technology in Phytotherapy, Department of Biotechnology, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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Lucinéia dos Santos
  • Lucinéia dos Santos
  • Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Technology in Phytotherapy, Department of Biotechnology, School of Sciences, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Assis, SP, Brazil.
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  •  Received: 31 March 2017
  •  Accepted: 21 August 2017
  •  Published: 10 September 2017

Abstract

Agave sisalana is a plant belonging to the Agavaceae family. Sisal juice is constituted of steroidic saponins which are precursor molecules of many pharmacologically active steroids. These precursor molecules can act in brain structures that are related to the modulation of emotional disorders. They can act on energy metabolism or directly on the absorptive process of fats. The objective of this research was to identify the biocompounds present in A. sisalana juice, and to evaluate the effect of different extracts on the expression of defensive behaviours of rats in elevated plus maze and open field tests, and body weight, in a condition that corresponds to an induced menopause. Wistar rats were subjected to bilateral ovariectomy or to a sham surgical procedure under anaesthesia. Following surgery, they were treated gavage with sisal juice - concentrated crude juice (CCJ): 500 or 1000 mg/kg; dried extract (DE): 50, 100 or 200 mg/kg; dry mucilage extract (DME): 25, 50 or 100 mg/kg; and intermediate product (IP): 25, 50 or 100 mg/kg; or distilled water. The results showed the presence of coumarins, flavonoids, condensed tannins, free anthraquinones, alkaloids and saponins in the sisal juice. Both CCJ and DE (100 mg/kg) caused weight loss without alteration of defensive behaviours related to the manifestation of anxiety. As saponins were identified in DE in significant amounts, the observed effects were attributed to this component. Such findings point to A. sisalana as a plant that could potentially be used to treat weight gain during menopause.

Key words: Agave sisalana, steroidic saponins, body weight, anxiety, plus-maze, females, ovariectomy.