Gastroprotective Effect of Serjania erecta Radlk (Sapindaceae): Involvement of Sensory Neurons, Endogenous Nonprotein Sulfhydryls, and Nitric Oxide
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The present study reveals the pharmacological action of Serjania erecta Radlk. (Family Sapindaceae), an important medicinal plant species used in the Brazilian Pantanal against gastric pain. The methanolic (Me) and chloroformic (Se) extracts obtained from leaves of S. erecta were challenged by a very strong necrotizing agent in rodents, absolute ethanol. Se was also confronted with a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor (N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester), a capsaicin cation channel transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 antagonist (ruthenium red), or a sulfhydryl-blocker (N-ethylmaleimide) to evaluate the participation of these cytoprotective factors in gastroprotection. In an in vivo experimental model, Me and Se presented several degrees of gastroprotective action without signs of acute toxicity. The best gastroprotective effect was restricted to all doses of Se. The mechanisms involving the gastroprotective action of Se are related to an augmented defense mechanism of the gastrointestinal mucosa consisting of sensory neurons, nitric oxide, and sulfhydryl groups that prevent and attenuate the ulcer process. The presence of polyisoprenoids in the Se explains the potent gastroprotective action of this medicinal species. Effective gastroprotective action and the absence of acute toxicity indicate this species may be a promising herbal drug against gastric disease.