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Effects of Harpagophytum procumbens (Devils'Claw) on the Cyclooxygenase and Lipoxygenase Pathways of the Arachidonic Acid Cascade

By L Grant, Douglas McBean, Lorna Fyfe and Mary Warnock


The study was carried out to elucidate the mechanism(s) of action of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Harpagophytum procumbens (Hp; Devil's Claw). The in vitro effects of two preparations of Hp on the arachidonic acid cascade were monitored using whole blood aggregation\ud and enzyme immunoassays for prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and leukotriene B4(LTB4), indices of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). Neither Hp preparation significantly altered plasma\ud levels of PGE2 or serum levels of LTB4. Both preparations of Hp had no effect on the COX or 5-LOX arms of the AA cascade, as determined by whole blood aggregation and EIAs for PGE2 and LTB4. This would indicate that Hp does not share the same mechanism of action as standard nonsteroidal\ud anti-inflammatory drugs and suggests that another mechanism\ud is responsible for the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Hp that have been observed in numerous animal and human clinical trials

Year: 2009
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