Friday, 25 September 2015

Characterization and pharmacodynamic properties of Arnica montana complex


Polyphenolic-polysaccharide complex from A. montana showed new pharmacodynamic properties.
The bronchodilatory activity of Arnica complex was similar to salbutamol.
Arnica complex did not show cytotoxic effect up to the dose of 500 μg/mL.
Arnica complex showed a slight cytotoxic effect in doses 1000-2000 μg/mL.


A dark brown polymeric complex was isolated from flowering parts of medicinal plant Arnica montana L. by hot alkaline extraction followed by neutralization and multi-step extractions with organic solvents. It was recovered in 5.7% yield, on GPC showed two peaks of molecular mass of 9 and 3.5 kDa. The compositional analyses of Arnica complex revealed the presence of carbohydrates (26%), uronic acids (12%), phenolics (1.25 mM or 213 mg of GAE/1 g), and low protein content (∼1%). The carbohydrate moiety was rich mainly in rhamnogalacturonan and arabinogalactan. The antitussive tests showed the reduction of the cough efforts by Arnica complex, however, its total antitussive effect was lower compared with that of codeine, the strongest antitussive agent. The bronchodilatory activity of Arnica complex was similar to salbutamol, a classic antiasthmatic drug, and was confirmed by significantly decreased values of specific airways resistance in vivo and by considerably attenuated the amplitude of acetylcholine and histamine-induced contractions in vitro. Arnica complex did not show any cytotoxic effect on mouse fibroblast cultures and human lung cells, up to the dose of 500 μg/mL.

Graphical abstract

Image for unlabelled figure


  • Arnica montana L.;
  • Glycoconjugate;
  • Antitussive activity;
  • Bronchodilatory activity;
  • Cytotoxic effect

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