Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Pharmacological activity of Costus spicatus in experimental Bothrops atrox envenomation.

2016 Oct;54(10):2103-10. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2016.1145703. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Author information

  • 1a Toxicology Laboratory, Pharmaceutical Science Course , Federal University of Amapá , Macapa , Brazil ;
  • 2b Secretary of Health, Zoonosis Service , Macapa , Brazil ;
  • 3c Department of Food Science and Technology , University of Nebraska-Lincoln , Lincoln , NE , USA ;
  • 4d Drugs Laboratory, Pharmaceutical Science Course , Federal University of Amapá , Macapa , Brazil ;
  • 5e Laboratoire De Biodiversité Et Biotechnologies Microbiennes, Observatoire Océanologique , Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, CNRS , Banyuls-sur-Mer , France.



Medicinal plants encompass a rich source of active compounds that can neutralize snake venoms or toxins. Costus spicatus (Jacq.) Sw. (Costaceae) is used by the Amazonian population to treat inflammation, pain and other pathological manifestations.


To evaluate the influence of C. spicatus aqueous extract on edema, peritonitis, nociception, coagulation, haemorrhage and indirect haemolytic activity induced by Bothrops atrox venom (BAV).


Dried and pulverized leaves were extracted with distilled water. Envenoming was induced by administration of B. atrox snake venom in Swiss Webster mice. The experimental groups consisted of BAV (at the minimum dose to induce measurable biological responses) and C. spicatus extract (CSE, 1.25, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 mg/kg/25 μl phosphate-buffered saline) administered individually and in combination (BAVCSE). PBS was used as a control. In vitro assays were also conducted in order to evaluate phospholipase A2 coagulant activities (indirect haemolytic method).


CSE significantly reduced the venom-induced edema and nociception at all concentrations tested and inhibited migration of inflammatory cells at the three least concentrations (5.0, 7.5 and 10 mg/kg/25 μl PBS). CSE was not effective in inhibiting coagulant, haemorrhagic and indirect haemolytic activities of the venom.


The data suggest that CSE could exhibit a central mechanism for pain inhibition, and may also inhibit prostaglandin synthesis. These findings corroborate the traditional administration of C. spicatus decoction to treat inflammatory disorders, including those caused by B. atrox envenomation.


Medicinal plants; snakebite; toxins