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Abstract

Evaluation of Cameroonian plants towards experimental bone regeneration.

Abstract

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Elephantopus mollis, Spilanthes africana, Urena lobata, Momordica multiflora, Asystasia gangetica and Brillantaisia ovariensis are used in Cameroonian traditional medicine for the treatment of bone diseases and fracture repair. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ethanolic extracts of six Cameroonian medicinal plants on bone regeneration following bone and marrow injury. Materials and methods: Ethanol extract of Cameroonian medicinal plants were administered (each extract at 250, 500 and 750 mg/kg doses) orally to adult female Sprague-Dawley rats having a drill hole injury (0.8 mm) in the femur diaphysis. Vehicle (gum-acacia in distilled water) was given to the control group. After 12 days of treatment, animals were euthanized and femur bones collected. Confocal microscopy of fractured bone was performed to evaluate bone regeneration (calcein labeling). Only active plant extracts were used for further experiments. Thus, callus was analyzed by microcomputed tomography. Osteogenic effects of the extracts were evaluated by assessing mineralized nodules formation of bone marrow stromal cells and osteoblast recruitment at drill hole site by immunohistochemistry. Results: Ethanolic extract of the leaves and twigs of Elephantopus mollis (EM) and whole plant of Spilanthes africana (SA) dose-dependently stimulated bone regeneration at the drill hole site. EM at 250 and 750 mg/kg doses and SA at 750 mg/kg dose significantly increased mineral deposition compared to controls. Both extracts at 500 and 750 mg/kg doses improved microarchitecture of the regenerating bone evident from increased bone volume fraction, trabecular thickness, trabecular number, and decreased trabecular separation and structure model index. EM and SA extracts increased the formation of mineralized nodules from the bone marrow stromal cells. In addition, EM and SA extracts increased osteoblast recruitment at the drill hole site evident from increased Runx-2 positive cells following their treatments compared to control. Conclusion: Ethanolic extracts of EM and SA accelerate fracture repair in rats via stimulatory effects on osteoblast differentiation and mineralization, thereby justifying their traditional use.