Dermal irritation and sensitization study of Euphorbia neriifolia latex and its anti-inflammatory efficacy

Papiya Bigoniya, Alok Shukla, Chandra Shekar Singh


The presence of polycyclic diterpene esters in Euphorbia plants sap makes it highly irritant and notably corrosive causing burning pain of skin. The toxic nature of the Euphorbia is discouraging their uses despite the possible manifold therapeutic potentials. Euphorbia neriifolia (Euphorbiaceae) commonly known as Thuar is a sacculant shrub commonly and abundantly found as hedge plant in Central India. This study was designed to screen the physiochemical properties of latex and dermal irritation potential of its different solvent fractions targeting to retain the triterpene content high to extract therapeutic utilization. Physico-chemical, qualitative and quantitative phytochemical, dermal irritation and sensitization profile and topical anti-inflammatory activity of E. neriifolia latex were studied. Fresh latex contains 10.95 % solid with 18.32 % total resinous matter, and 24.50 % and 16.23 % of total diterpene and triterpene respectively. Petroleum ether fractionation showed 63.80 % yield with rich presence of steroid and triterpenoid. Pet. ether fraction was found to be apparently nonirritating with a PII score of 0.43/0.11 for erythema and edema according to Draize Dermal Classification System. Chloroform, acetone and water fractions are skin irritating due to presence of high diterpene content where as pet. ether fraction is rich in triterpene showing nonirritant activity. Topically latex pet. ether fraction at 750 and 500 mg/ml dose showed 42.40 and 35.25 % inhibition of carrageenan induced paw edema. Anti-inflammatory activity of latex pet. ether fraction is due to presence of triterpenes euphol, nerifoliol and cycloartenol. This study explores safe topical use profile of E. neriifolia latex retaining its anti-inflammatory efficacy.

Keywords: Euphorbia neriifolia, Latex, Dermal irritation, Anti-inflammatory, Triterpenes, Euphol

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