Anti-inflammatory activities of crude ethanol extract of Combretum zenkeri Engl. & Diels leaves

  • Chidera Peace Ogbu
  • Okagu Innocent Uzochukwu Email author
  • Okwesili Fred Chiletugo Nwodo
Original Article



To augment orthodox anti-inflammatory drugs, which are scarce in some areas, local dwellers in some parts of Nigeria and Asia rely on herbal products such as Combretum zenkeri Engl. & Diels leaves for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.


This study investigated the anti-inflammatory activities of crude ethanol extract of C. zenkeri leaves (EECZ).

Materials and methods

EECZ was prepared and subjected to anti-inflammatory activity tests. The ability of EECZ to inhibit the release of inflammatory mediators in rats was used as a measure of its anti-inflammatory property. The inhibitory effects of EECZ on phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity, platelet aggregation and haemolysis of human red blood cells (HRBCs) were determined using standard methods. The phytochemical constituents and acute toxicity profile were also evaluated.


EECZ at oral doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg b.w. and at 6 h inhibited egg albumin-induced rat paw oedema by 67.36% and 86.19% respectively. The extract similarly inhibited PLA2 activity causing 58.23% and 60.24% inhibition at concentrations of 400 and 800 μg/ml, respectively. At 100–800 μg/ml, EECZ also significantly inhibited haemolysis of HRBCs. In a concentration-dependent manner, EECZ significantly inhibited CaCl2-induced platelet aggregation. The presence of flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, phenol, saponins, steroids, tannins and glycosides were detected in EECZ. The acute toxicity test showed that EECZ is safe at doses less than 5,000 mg/kg b.w.


This study shows that EECZ possess anti-inflammatory activities that could be through the inhibition of PLA2 activity and platelet aggregation, and membrane stabilization.


Medicinal plants Combretum zenkeri Engl. & Diels Acute toxicity phytochemicals Phospholipase A2 Anti-platelet aggregation Membrane stabilization 



Ethanol extract of Combretum zenkeri Engl. & Diels


Phospholipase A2








Human red blood cell


Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid


Platelet-rich plasma


Thromboxane A2



The authors thank Dr. E.G. Anaduaka of Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka for his technical assistance and advice during the study.

Authors’ contributions

The authors’ contributions are as follows: N.O.F.C. and O.C.P. conceived the research idea, and designed the study, N.O.F.C., O.C.P. and O.I.U. performed the experiments, O.C.P and O.I.U analysed the data; O.C.P. and O.I.U. wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

This study was funded by the authors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Informed consent

Not applicable


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  2. 2.Medical Biochemistry, Toxicology and Drug Discovery Unit, Department of BiochemistryUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

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