ABSTRACT: The gastroprotective mechanism of the natural diterpene ferruginol was assessed in mice and rats. The involvement of gastric prostaglandins (PGE(2)), reduced glutathione, nitric oxide or capsaicin receptors was evaluated in mice either treated or untreated with indometacin, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) or ruthenium red, respectively, and then orally treated with ferruginol or vehicle. Gastric lesions were induced by oral administration of ethanol. The effects of ferruginol on the parameters of gastric secretion were assessed in pylorus-ligated rats. Gastric PGE(2) content was determined in rats treated with ferruginol and/or indometacin. The reduction of gastric glutathione (GSH) content was determined in rats treated with ethanol after oral administration of ferruginol, lansoprazole or vehicle. Finally, the acute oral toxicity was assessed in mice. Indometacin reversed the gastroprotective effect of ferruginol (25 mg kg(-1)) but not NEM, ruthenium red or L-NAME. The diterpene (25 mg kg(-1)) increased the gastric juice volume and its pH value, and reduced the titrable acidity but was devoid of effect on the gastric mucus content. Ferruginol (25, 50 mg kg(-1)) increased gastric PGE(2) content in a dose-dependent manner and prevented the reduction in GSH observed due to ethanol-induced gastric lesions in rats. Single oral doses up to 3 g kg(-1) ferruginol did not elicit mortality or acute toxic effects in mice. Our results showed that ferruginol acted as a gastroprotective agent stimulating the gastric PGE(2) synthesis, reducing the gastric acid output and improving the antioxidant capacity of the gastric mucosa by maintaining the GSH levels.
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 03/2008; 60(2):245-51. · 2.17 Impact Factor