Listed in Issue 208


CASADO and COLLEAGUES, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.  evaluated the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antifungal activities of C. spinosa for the first time.


Stem and leaves infusion of Chuquiraga spinosa (R&P) Don. (Asteraceae) is used in the Peruvian traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties and for the treatment of vaginal infections. This study evaluated the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antifungal activities of C. spinosa for the first time.


Extracts of methanol, 50% methanol and water were obtained from C. spinosa aerial parts. Antioxidant activity of the extracts was evaluated (DPPH, ABTS (+) and superoxide radical-scavenging activity). The correlation between these results and total polyphenolic content was determined by Pearson's Correlation Coefficient. Anti-inflammatory activity of 50% methanol extract was evaluated with the rat model of carrageenan-induced acute inflammation and mouse model of TPA-induced acute inflammation. The antifungal activity of the extracts against Cladosporium cucumerinum and Candida albicans was studied by direct bioautography, and antifungal activity against phytopathogenic fungi was performed by culture in potato dextrose agar plates.


All the extracts showed high antioxidant activity, and there was correlation between the activity and total polyphenolic compounds. As 50% methanol extract was administered orally, the paw oedema in rats was reduced significantly (52.5%). This extract, by topical administration, produced a reduction of 88.07% of the oedema TPA-induced in ear of mice. The aqueous and 50% methanol extracts were active against C. albicans (minimum inhibitory concentration of 2.5 and 6.25 microg, respectively). The aqueous extract showed antifungal activity against C. cucumerinum (MIC: 2.5 microg).


Preliminary phytochemical screening and the analysis of the three extracts by high-performance liquid chromatography diode-array detection showed the majority compounds are flavonoids and phenolic acid derivatives. These compounds may be responsible of the radical-scavenging activity of these extracts as well as responsible of anti-inflammatory effect in vivo of 50% methanol extract. Several authors have demonstrated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of some flavonoids and phenolic acids. The antifungal activity of the extracts obtained from aerial parts of C. spinosa has been investigated here for the first time. Other studies are necessary to determine the mechanism of action and to identify the bioactive compounds of this plant.


Casado R, Landa A, Calvo J, Garcia-Mina JM, Marston A, Hostettmann K and Calvo MI. Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antifungal activity of Chuquiraga spinosa. Pharmaceutical Biology. 49(6):620-6. Jun 2011.

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