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Evaluation of pharmacological and toxicological potential of the hexanic fraction of Agave sisalana for the development of a topical emulsion with anti-inflammatory property

Grant number: 14/14253-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Ethnopharmacology
Principal researcher:Lucinéia dos Santos
Grantee:Felipe Furtado
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil


According to the literature, it is possible to figure that the researchers developed regarding the pharmacological actions of Agave sisalana, liquid subproduct which results from the process of shredding its leaves, are still very restricted, even though Brazil is the biggest producer of this plant. However, the low amounts of researches accomplished until now reveals that the juice of Agave sisalana (sisal) is rich in steroidal saponins and it possesses different pharmacological actions. A noteworthy study conducted in our laboratory, shows the acute anti-inflammatory activity of the extract resulting from the acid hydrolysis of sisal juice (AHE). With reference to this panorama, this project intends, through repeated administration, evaluate the hexanic fraction of the extract of the acid hydrolysis of sisal (HFAHE), in order to enhance and solidify the anti-inflammatory effect already observed with the AHE and ensure the development of an emulsion with anti-inflammatory property. Furthermore, the project's goal is to trail the extract's toxicological profile in order to ensure the safety of its use. The analysis of anti-inflammatory activity of HFAHE will be practiced in vivo through carrageenan-induced paw and ear edema tests, while the analgesic activity will be verified by the formalin test. The evaluation of the acute toxicity will occur based on the median lethal dose (LD50) determination and based on the analysis of the evidences of toxicity manifested in animals, related to motor control and consciousness. Finally, with the purpose of ascertain whether pharmacological activities measured are related to the presence of saponins and sapogenins, the presence of these metabolites will be examined. This project is a cooperation between the UNESP and the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation of Bahia and seeks an economically viable technical-scientific solution to the use of sisal juice being mostly wasted, also value a sustainable and social development for the sisal-producing region, which is one of the poorest of the country.

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