Brazilian folk medicine utilizes the shrub Myrcia guianensis against various snake venom effects. This work aimed to assess the therapeutic potential of aqueous, ethyl acetate and hexane leave extracts of M. guianensis and its aqueous residue against the hemorrhagic activity of Bothrops jararaca venom. In vivo assays were carried out by dorsal intradermic injections of the crude venom in Swiss mice. The in vitro effect was determined on agarose gel, using egg yolk as phospholipid source and erythrocytes as substrate and by mixing the aqueous residue with crude B. jararaca venom or mice plasma. After incubation, the pellets and the supernatants were analyzed by electrophoresis. The aqueous extract and aqueous residue completely inhibited the in vivo hemorrhage (1:1 ratio, w:w); ethyl acetate extract inhibited 90.7% at 1:3 and hexane extract showed no effect at 1:10 (w:w). The aqueous residue completely inhibited in vivo jararhagin induced hemorrhage at 1:10 (w:w). However, it showed no action when injected 10 min after the venom. It also completely inhibited the in vitro venom phospholipase A2 activity at 1:2 (w:w) and jararhagin induced fibrinolytic at 1:100 (w:w). It is suggested that the antihemorrhagic activity of the aqueous residue is mainly due to protein precipitation, as shown by electrophoresis.
Key words: Bothrops jararaca, Myrcia guianensis, jararhagin, phospholipase A2, antiophidian plants.
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