Moringa oleifera induced potentiation of serotonin release by 5-HT(3) receptors in experimental ulcer model

Phytomedicine. 2011 Jan 15;18(2-3):91-5. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.06.003. Epub 2010 Jul 16.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: moringa oleifera (Moringaceae), a perennial plant is widely cultivated throughout the world. Extensive pharmacological studies revealed its promising role in modulation of various disorders like antispasmodic, diuretic, abortifacient, antimicrobial antibacterial, antitubercular, antiviral, antifertility, depressant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer property which promoted us to conduct the study to elucidate its role on experimental gastric ulceration.

Aim of the study: the aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy of its aqueous leaf extract on protection of gastric ulceration and characterize the possible modulatory mechanism underlying the phenomenon.

Materials and methods: adult Holtzman strain albino rats (weight 150-200 g) of either sex were used for the study. Ulceration was induced using aspirin (500 mg/kg body weight) and using Moringa oleifera (MO), a herbal formulation, the modulatory mechanism has been studied and compared with a commonly used antagonist of 5-HT(3) receptors, ondansetron by assessing parameters like mean ulcer index, 5-HT content, EC cell count and mucosal thickness.

Results: the results of our study suggest that MO protects ulcer formation by modulating 5-HT secretion through EC cell via 5-HT(3) receptors in gastrointestinal tract.

Interpretation and conclusion: MO showed maximum protective activity at a dose of 300 mg/kg body weight against above-mentioned experimental rat ulcer model by modulating 5-HT secretion through EC cell via 5-HT(3) receptors in gastrointestinal tract which has given a glimpse of a therapeutic approach for gastric ulcer management, which may be beneficially used in contrast to the classical antacid, antihistamine or surgical treatment. Further investigations and proper screening regarding various phytochemicals, alkaloids present within MO leaf will help to formulate effective herbal preparation that will be used to combat gastrointestinal disorders in future.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aspirin
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterochromaffin Cells / drug effects
  • Enterochromaffin Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Male
  • Moringa oleifera*
  • Ondansetron / pharmacology
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT3 / drug effects
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Stomach Ulcer / chemically induced
  • Stomach Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Ulcer / metabolism


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT3
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Agonists
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists
  • Serotonin
  • Ondansetron
  • Aspirin