The boiled leaves of Artemisia campestris (Asteraceae) was used as a folk-medicine against ophidian and scorpion envenoming in rural and nomad populations, but its bona fide mechanisms are still unknown. In this report, the effect of the aqueous dry leaves’ extract of this plant on hemodynamic variations induced by Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom was assayed in pregnant and non pregnant rats. Our results showed that the venom induced hypertension magnitude was much important in pregnant rats (maximal of 156% of baseline) than in cycling ones (maximal of 143.9% of baseline). When injected alone, the aqueous leaves extract of A. campestris induced a progressive significant diminishing of the mean arterial pressure both in 72.4 ± 7.6% and out of pregnancy (90.4 ± 4.4%). This effect did completely abolish the venom induced hypertensive shock, when envenomed rats were pretreated with the extract. It was concluded that aqueous extract of A. campestris leaves prevents the induced hypertensive phase induced by the scorpion venom, probably through adrenergic pathway. The potential of A. campestris water-boiled extract to revert hypertension is sought to be useful for anti-hypertensive drugs development; and worth much merit to be investigated.
Key words: Artemisia campestris, scorpion envenomation, blood pressure, pregnancy, rat.
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