When tested in the acetic acid-induced writhing and formalin-induced paw-licking tests, the ethanol extract of Vernonia patula (VP) aerial parts showed significant antinociceptive activity. In neuropharmacological tests, it also significantly delayed the onset of sleep, increased the duration of sleeping time, and significantly reduced the locomotor activity and exploratory behaviour of mice. Five phenolic compounds, namely gallic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin and kaempferol, were detected in VP following HPLC-DAD analysis. The presence of these phenolic compounds in VP provides some support for the observed antinociceptive and sedative effects. A computational study was performed to predict the binding affinity of gallic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin and kaempferol towards the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor. Caffeic and vanillic acid showed the highest probable ligand efficiency indices towards the CB1 target. Vanillic acid displayed the best blood brain barrier penetration prediction score. These findings provide some evidence for the traditional use of VP to treat pain.
- antinociceptive activity
- cannabinoid receptors
- molecular docking
- vernonia patula
- Strathclyde Institute Of Pharmacy And Biomedical Sciences - Senior Lecturer