Gastric antiulcer, antisecretory and cytoprotective properties of celery (Apium graveolens) in rats

Pharm Biol. 2010 Jul;48(7):786-93. doi: 10.3109/13880200903280026.


In the present investigation, an ethanol extract of celery [Apium graveolens L. (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae)], at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight, was evaluated for antigastric ulcer activity using various experimental gastric ulcer models in rats. Ulcers were induced by indomethacin, cytodestructive agents (80% ethanol, 0.2 M NaOH and 25% NaCl) and cold restraint stress. Gastric secretory studies were undertaken by using pylorus ligation (Shay rat model). In addition to gastric wall mucus (GWM), non-protein sulfhydryl (NP-SH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were also estimated in gastric tissues after 80% ethanol treatment. Pretreatment of celery extract produced dose-dependent reduction in all experimentally induced gastric lesions. Ethanol (80%) decreased the levels of GWM, NP-SH and increase in MDA concentration in gastric tissue. Celery extract showed the ability to significantly replenish the ethanol-induced depleted levels of GWM and gastric mucosal NP-SH. The gastric mucosal MDA level was also significantly lowered in extract pretreated rats. The celery extract showed stomach protection against the models used for ulcerogenesis. Results were further confirmed by using histopathological assessment. The phytochemical screening showed the presence of various chemical constituents such as flavonoids, tannins, volatile oils, alkaloids, sterols and/or triterpenes. Acute toxicity test revealed no deleterious or toxic symptoms or mortality over a period of 14 days. However, the LD(50) was found to be 7.55 g/kg, and showed a large margin of safety. The results suggest that Apium graveolens extract significantly protects the gastric mucosa and suppresses the basal gastric secretion in rats, possibly through its antioxidant potential.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / toxicity
  • Apium* / toxicity
  • Cytoprotection / drug effects*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Female
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism
  • Gastric Juice / metabolism*
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / analysis
  • Mucus / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stomach Ulcer / chemically induced
  • Stomach Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Ulcer / metabolism


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Malondialdehyde