Antiallergic and antihistaminic effect of two extracts ofCapparis spinosa L. flowering buds Academic Article uri icon

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  • The antiallergic properties of two lyophilized extracts obtained from Capparis spinosa L. flowering buds (capers) by methanol extraction, carried out at room temperature (CAP-C) or with heating at 60 degrees C (CAP-H), were investigated. The protective effects of CAP-H and CAP-C, orally administered (14.28 mg[sol ]kg), were evaluated against Oleaceae antigen challenge-induced and histamine-induced bronchospasm in anaesthetized guinea-pigs. Furthermore, the histamine skin prick test was performed on humans, applying a gel formulation containing 2% CAP-C (the only extract able to protect against histamine-induced bronchospasm) on the skin for 1 h before histamine application and monitoring the erythema by reflectance spectrophotometry. The CAP-H showed a good protective effect against the bronchospasm induced by antigen challenge in sensitized guinea-pigs; conversely, a significant decrease in the responsiveness to histamine was seen only in CAP-C pretreated animals. Finally, the CAP-C gel formulation possessed a marked inhibitory effect (46.07%) against histamine-induced skin erythema. These two caper extracts displayed marked antiallergic effectiveness; however, the protective effect of CAP-H was very likely due to an indirect mechanism (for example, inhibition of mediator release from mast cells or production of arachidonic acid metabolites); conversely, CAP-C is endowed with direct antihistaminic properties. The different mechanisms of action of CAP-H and CAP-C may be related to a difference in the extraction procedure and, thus, in their qualitative[sol ]quantitative chemical profile.


  • Trombetta, Domenico
  • Occhiuto, Francesco
  • Perri, Dan
  • Puglia, Carmelo
  • Santagati, Natale A
  • Pasquale, Anna De
  • Saija, Antonella
  • Bonina, Francesco

publication date

  • January 2005