Effect of chrysanthemum flower extract on analgesia and serotonin levels associated with migraine symptoms in rats

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Objectives: The flower from chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum indicum L.; CI) has been used in China as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for various symptoms; for example, hypertension, vertigo and infections. It has high potencies in several pharmacological effects including anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic activities. Serotonin (5-HT) is found in both central and peripheral nervous system. It plays a role in the process of pain, especially, severe pain such as migraine. Therefore, the purpose of this study aimed to evaluate the effect of CI on pain relieving and brain 5-HT in rat model. Methods: The ethanolic extract of white chrysanthemum flower was used in this study. Rats were pretreated with CI at 250, 500, and 750 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg acetaminophen, and 100 mg/kg ibuprofen compared with vehicle (control). Tail-flick meter was used to determine analgesic effect. Comparisons of tail-flick latency and % maximal possible effect (MPE) among groups were evaluated. The dose of CI that produced the highest activities in both tail-flick latency and %MPE was then selected to study in reserpine-induced low 5-HT experiment compared with sumatriptan, a standard drug for the migraine treatment, to examine the brain 5-HT. Results: The results showed that 500 mg/kg CI significantly possessed analgesic activity in rats as well as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, standard painkillers, did. Therefore, CI at this dose was chosen to study in reserpine-rat experiment. The study demonstrated that CI500 statistically boosted the brain 5-HT levels in reserpine-induced low 5-HT rats. An increase in the brain 5-HT was also found in rats treated with sumatriptan, a 5-HT agonist. It was possible that CI acted as “5-HT agonist” similarly to sumatriptan. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the effect of CI on the minimization of algesia is possibly involved in serotonergic system. As it affected both pain behavior and brain 5-HT level, CI could be useful to be developed as an alternative antihyperalgesic substance, particularly migraine. © 2016, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University. All rights reserved.

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Chrysanthemum is a dicotyledonous genus belonging to the family Asteraceae. These herbaceous annual or perennial plants originated in East Asia and are of great ornamental, medicinal, environmental and industrial values. Chrysanthemum is amongst the most valuable floricultural crops in the world, and is extremely popular for its wide range of flower color and structure. The Chrysanthemum species have long been praised in traditional Chinese medicine history, and continue to be used as valuable drugs, food additives or herbal teas. Various phytochemical compounds, including flavonoids, terpenoids, polysaccharides and unsaturated fatty acids have been identified in the genus Chrysanthemum. This genus has also displayed multiple biological features including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-allergic, anti-obesity, immune regulation, hepatoprotective and nephroprotective activities. In the present review, we aim to extensively investigate the therapeutic potential, phytochemistry and pharmacological activities of the genus Chrysanthemum with a particular focus on the introduction of the new isolated compounds through summarizing scientific evidence released in a period of ten years (2010–2020). The taxonomic characteristics, distribution, horticultural and traditional uses of this genus are also presented. Moreover, research gaps in pharmacological and phytochemical studies, as well as future opportunities for medicinal exploitation of the genus Chrysanthemum have been discussed.
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