The effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Ferula foetida stems on blood pressure and oxidative stress in dexamethasone-induced hypertensive rats

L Safaeian, A Ghannadi, Sh Haghjoo Javanmard, MH Vahidian


Ferula foetida (Bunge) Regel. is one of the most widespread and important Ferula species with nutritional and medicinal applications. Some phytochemicals with helpful cardiovascular effects have been isolated from Ferula species. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of hydroalcoholic extract of the stems of F. foetida in dexamethasone (Dex)-induced hypertension in rats. Hypertension was induced by subcutaneous injection of Dex (30 µg/kg) for 14 days. In a prevention study, rats received oral F. foetida extract (200, 400 and 800 mg/kg) for 4 days prior to Dex administration and during the test period (Days 1-18). In a treatment study, F. foetida extract was administered from day 8 to 14. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was evaluated using tail-cuff method. The thymus weight was measured as an indicator of glucocorticoid activity. The hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentration and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) were measured in plasma samples. Dex-induced hypertensive rats showed significant increases in SBP and in plasma H2O2 and decreases in the body and thymus weights and in FRAP value (P<0.001). Administration of F. foetida extract significantly prevented and reversed hypertension at all doses. It also increased plasma FRAP value (P<0.001) but failed to decrease plasma H2O2 concentration. These results suggest antihypertensive and antioxidant effects of F. foetida stem extract in Dex-induced hypertension. More investigations are needed to elucidate the exact mechanism of antihypertensive effect of this traditional phytomedicine.

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