The Effect of Prickly Pear, Pumpkin, and Linseed Oils on Biological Mediators of Acute Inflammation and Oxidative Stress Markers

Biomed Res Int. 2020 Aug 2;2020:5643465. doi: 10.1155/2020/5643465. eCollection 2020.


Medicinal plants have been used as a source of effective and safe alternative therapeutic agents for various ailments including inflammation. In fact, the aim of this study is to assess the topical anti-inflammatory and antioxidative potential effects of Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin), Linum usitatissimum (linseed), and Opuntia ficus indica (prickly pear) oils on acute inflammation using carrageenan-induced paw edema model. The study was conducted on 36 rats splitted in 6 groups: a normal control group and 5 carrageenan-treated groups (1%), each treated with either a normal saline, the reference drug ("Inflocine®" 2 mg/paw), pumpkin, linseed, or prickly pear oils (25 μl/paw). The response to these treatments was mainly assessed by the measuring of edema paw size, hematological and biochemical analysis, oxidative stress testing, and histological study. All the studied seed oils especially prickly pear oil proved to be efficient in treating acute inflammation. The oil-treated groups revealed a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in the clinical signs of inflammation, hematological parameters (white blood cells and platelets), concentrations of CRP and fibrinogen, and congestion compared to the normal saline-treated group. The results also showed that the tested oils, endowed with a radical scavenging ability, could significantly increase the activities of SOD, CAT, and GPx in carrageenan-treated skin by reducing the lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation (TBARS, AOPP). The anti-inflammatory effect of the tested oils was closely related to both their antioxidant properties as well as their bioactive compounds (polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, and phytosterols). For the first time, the findings of the current study highlight the "in vivo" anti-inflammatory property of pumpkin, linseed, and prickly pear oils on carrageenan-induced acute inflammation by regulating inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress markers.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cucurbita / chemistry*
  • Flax / chemistry*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Linseed Oil* / chemistry
  • Linseed Oil* / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Opuntia / chemistry*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Linseed Oil