BMC Complement Altern Med 2019 Feb 28;19(1):52. Epub 2019 Feb 28.
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, 5117, South Africa.
Background: Senecio serratuloides DC is used in folk medicine for treating hypertension, skin disorders, internal and external sores, rashes, burns and wounds. This study aimed at investigating the antihypertensive effects of the hydroethanol extract of S. serratuloides (HESS) in N-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) induced hypertension in rats.
Methods: Acute toxicity of HESS was first determined to provide guidance on doses to be used in this study. Lorke's method was used to determine safety of the extract in mice. Female Wistar rats were treated orally once daily with L-NAME (40 mg/kg) for 4 weeks and then concomitantly with L-NAME (20 mg/kg) and plant extract (150 and 300 mg/kg), captopril (20 mg/kg) or saline as per assigned group for 2 weeks followed by a 2-week period of assigned treatments only. Blood pressure was monitored weekly. Lipid profile, nitric oxide, renin and angiotensin II concentrations were determined in serum while mineralocorticoid receptor concentration was quantified in the kidney homogenate. Nitric oxide (NO) concentration was determined in serum and cardiac histology performed.
Results: HESS was found to be non-toxic, having a LD greater than 5000 mg/kg. Blood pressure increased progressively in all animals from the second week of L-NAME treatment. HESS treatment significantly and dose-dependently lowered systolic blood pressure (p < 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.01), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.01) and triglycerides (p < 0.01). It significantly prevented L-NAME induced decrease in serum angiotensin II (p < 0.01), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.001) and serum nitric oxide concentrations (p < 0.001). HESS also significantly (p < 0.01) prevented collagen deposition in cardiac tissue.
Conclusion: The hydro-ethanol extract of Senecio serratuloides showed antihypertensive, antihyperlipidemic and cardioprotective effects in rats thus confirming its usefulness in traditional antihypertensive therapy and potential for antihypertensive drug development.