Journal of
Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy

  • Abbreviation: J. Pharmacognosy Phytother.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2502
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 223

Full Length Research Paper

A study of the inhibitory effects of Citrullus colocynthis (CCT) using hydro-alcoholic extract on the expression of cytokines: TNF-α and IL-6 in high fat diet-fed mice towards a cure for diabetes mellitus

Nima Sanadgol1*, Shahla Najafi1, Leyla Vafadar Ghasemi1, Gholamreza Motalleb1,Jasem Estakhr1
1Department of Biology, College of Science, Zabol University, Zabol, Iran. 2School of Pharmacology, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran. 3College of Veterinary, Zabol University, Zabol, Iran.
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 May 2011
  •  Published: 31 July 2011


To promote the proper use of herbal medicine and to determine their potential as sources for new drugs, it is essential to study medicinal plants, which have a folkloristic reputation in a more intensified way. Citrullus colocynthis (CCT) is used in Iranian traditional medicine as a healing agent for reducing obesity-related diabetes troubles. We proposed that CCT may perform its effects through inhibition of inflammatory cytokines secreted in obesity conditions. Control group was fed with normal diet (N-D) for 42 days alone or plus 50 mg/kg hydro-alcoholic (H-A) extract of CCT. The obese mice were given high fat diet (H-F-D) for 42 days alone or plus CCT extract. Food intake and body weight were recorded each week and expression of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-10 in serum were assayed by ELISA technique after every two weeks. CCT extract reduced body weight by 4.02% (ns-p> 0.05) and food intake by 3.52% (ns-p> 0.05), but dramatically decreased expression of TNF-α 44.83(***p< 0.001), IL-6 30.23(***p< 0.001) and marginally increased IL-10 5.31 (ns-p> 0.05) in obese mice. This study demonstrated that, although CCT extract did not show anti-obesity effects, it could have an anti-inflammatory effect through down regulation of obesity-associated pro-inflammatory cytokines.


Key words: Citrullus colocynthis, inflammatory cytokines, obesity, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10.