The anti-inflammatory components of Peperomia pellucida and Cassia alata extracts
Cruz, M.K.D.M., Ching, D.S., Natividad, J.M.D, Catabijan, C.G., Heralde III, F.M., Yu, G.F.B

In the Philippines, Peperomia pellucida and Cassia alata are among the herbal plants recommended by the Department of Health for the health benefits they provide. Both plants are being used to alleviate inflammation and muscle problems. However, scientific evidence on their anti-inflammatory activity is limited. Chemical profiling and pharmacological studies are needed to gain scientific information on their use and safety. In this study, the anti-inflammatory activity of P. pellucida and C. alata alone and in combination and their chemical profiles were determined. The anti-inflammatory activity was investigated using a COX-1 and COX-2 enzyme inhibition assay in vitro and mice with carrageenaninduced paw edema in vivo. The components of the methanolic extract of P. pellucida and C. alata leaves were identified using UPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS. In vitro, C. alata and the combination of P. pellucida and C. alata showed selective COX-2 inhibition. In vivo, orally administered P. pellucida and C. alata showed antiinflammatory activity 2 hours after administration. Their combination exhibited increased anti-inflammatory activity that was comparable to that of celecoxib. The LC-ESI-MS/MS analyses allowed the tentative identification of several flavonoids for C. alata and alkaloids for P. pellucida. The components identified were found to be inhibitors of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-ø or of COX-2, and thus may have contributed to the observed inhibition of carrageenan-induced inflammation during the delayed phase and of COX-2. In conclusion, ULB or AKP and their combination has the potential to inhibit acute inflammation without causing immediate toxicity. Furthermore, the AKP:ULB combination selectively inhibited COX-2 in vitro making it a potential alternative for managing inflammation without gastrointestinal side effects caused by COX-1 inhibition.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory, Phytotherapy, Peperomia pellucida, Cassia alata, Profiling