Fractions of Selaginella convoluta (Arn.) Spring (Selaginellaceae) attenuate the nociceptive behavior events in mice

Abstract Selaginella convoluta (Arn.) Spring is a species popularly known as “jericó”, and used in folk medicine as analgesic and anti-inflammatory. This study aimed to investigate in mice the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the hexane (Sc-Hex) and chloroform (Sc-CHCl3) fractions (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) obtained by partition of crude ethanol extract from S. convoluta. The preliminary phytochemical analysis of the fractions was performed. Antinociceptive activity was evaluated by writhing, formalin and hot-plate tests. Anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated using carrageenan-induced pleurisy. The rota-rod test was used to evaluate motor coordination. Preliminary phytochemical screening showed that the Sc-Hex and the Sc-CHCl3 were positive for the presence of flavonoids, anthracene derivatives, quinones, triterpenes and steroids. Inhibition of writhing was observed for fractions tested. The Sc-Hex at all doses tested was effective in reducing the nociceptive behavior produced by formalin only in the second phase. However, the Sc-CHCl3 decreased the paw licking time in the first and second phases. In the hot plate no significant effect was observed for any fraction. In the rota-rod test, treated mice did not demonstrate any significant motor performance changes. In the carrageenan-induced pleurisy, Sc-CHCl3 (200 mg/kg) reduced cell migration to the pleural cavity. These results reveal the antinociceptive properties of S. convoluta , which support, in part, its traditional use, since the fractions did not presented significant activity in the inflammatory response profile. We further verify that this antinociceptive effect could be by activation of nociceptive peripheral pathway.