Ethnobotanic study of Randia aculeata (Rubiaceae) in Jamapa, Veracruz, Mexico, and its anti-snake venom effects on mouse tissue

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Abstract

In Mexico, medicinal plants are widely used. The use of Randia aculeata by healers against snakebites has never been scientifically tested in relation to possible effects on blood parameters and muscle tissue damage. Interviews were carried out in Jamapa, Veracuz, Mexico, with local residents to collect information about the traditional use of Randia aculeata. In this locality, seven pieces of fruit from the plant are mixed in a liter of alcohol, and then administered orally against snakebites. By using histological techniques and a murine model, we explored its cytoprotective properties against the effects of Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper venoms. Possible protections provided by the plant against tissue damage to skeletal and cardiac muscles and against the typical loss of red blood cells were analyzed. Randia aculeata caused an increase in microhematocrit and total hemoglobin, parameters that are often decremented in association with the loss of red blood cells, which is a characteristic effect of animal venom. Randia aculeata was also shown to protect against the lowering of platelet levels caused by Bothrops asper venom. Finally, Randia aculeata produced a partial inhibition of necrosis following administration of snake venom in skeletal and myocardial muscles. The present results provide solid evidence for the traditional use of Randia aculeata against snakebites, as demonstrated by protection against muscular tissue damage and the diminution of red blood cells. © CEVAP 2012.

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Gallardo-Casas, C. A., Guevara-Balcázar, G., Morales-Ramos, E., Tadeo-Jiménez, Y., Gutiérrez-Flores, O., Jiménez-Sánchez, N., … Castillo-Hernández, M. C. (2012). Ethnobotanic study of Randia aculeata (Rubiaceae) in Jamapa, Veracruz, Mexico, and its anti-snake venom effects on mouse tissue. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases, 18(3), 287–294. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1678-91992012000300006

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