Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Urtica dioica leaf extract in animal models

Document Type : Original Research Article


Department of Pharmacology and Isfahan Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, I. R. Iran


Objective: This study was aimed to examine the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Urtica dioica leaf extract in animal models.
Materials and Methods: Hydroalcoholic extract of the plant leaves was prepared by percolation method. Male Swiss mice (25-35 g) and male Wistar rats (180-200 g) were randomly distributed in control, standard drug, and three experimental groups (n=6 in each group). Acetic acid-induced writhing, formalin test, and carrageenan-induced paw edema were used to assess the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects.
Results: The extract dose-dependently reduced acetic acid-induced abdominal twitches. In formalin test, the extract at any of applied doses (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg) could not suppress the licking behavior of first phase while doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg significantly inhibited the second phase of formalin test. In carrageenan test, the extract at a dose of 400 mg/kg significantly inhibited the paw edema by 26%.
Conclusion: The results confirm the folkloric use of the plant extract in painful and inflammatory conditions. Further studies are needed to characterize the active constituents and the mechanism of action of the plant extract.


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