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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 303162, 12 pages
Research Article

Acute and Chronic Oral Toxicity of a Partially Purified Plaunotol Extract from Croton stellatopilosus Ohba

1Pharmaceutical Technology (International) Program, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2Medical Plant Research Institute, Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, Tivanond Road, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
3Department of Biotech Business, Tipco Biotech Co. Ltd., Phetkasem Road, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77000, Thailand
4Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Bangkok 10300, Thailand

Received 6 August 2013; Accepted 22 August 2013

Academic Editor: Lillian Barros

Copyright © 2013 Chatchai Chaotham et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Plaunotol, an acyclic diterpenoid with highly effective antigastric ulcer properties, has been commercially isolated from leaves of Croton stellatopilosus Ohba. This Thai medicinal plant was traditionally used in the form of crude extracts, suggesting that it is possible to administer these plaunotol-containing extracts without toxicity. To confirm its safety, the oral toxicity of a partially purified plaunotol extract (PPE) was evaluated in vivo. The PPE was simply prepared by 95% ethanol reflux extraction followed by hexane partition. The obtained extract was analyzed and found to contain 43% w/w of plaunotol and another compound, likely a fatty acid-plaunotol conjugate that is considered a major impurity. Oral administration of PPE to ICR mice and Wistar rats was conducted to evaluate acute and chronic toxicity of the plaunotol extract, respectively. The acute toxicity study demonstrated that PPE was practically nontoxic based on its high median lethal dose value (  g/kg). The chronic toxicity studies also showed the absence of mortality and clinical symptoms in all rats treated with 11–1,100 mg/kg/day of PPE during a 6-month period. Histopathological and hematological analyses revealed that altered liver and kidney function and increased blood platelet number, but only at the high doses (550–1,100 mg/kg/day). These results suggest that PPE is potentially safe for further development as a therapeutic agent in humans.