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Thrombocyte counts in mice after the administration of papaya leaf suspension

Thrombozytenzahl bei Mäusen nach Verabreichung einer Papaya-Blattsuspension

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Angeregt von dem volksmedizinischen Gebrauch von Papaya carica Blattmaterial zur Behandlung von Dengueinfektionen wurde eine Suspension von pulversisierten Carica papaya Blättern in Palmöl auf die Beeinflussung der Thrombozytenzahlen bei Mäusen untersucht. Jeweils 5 Mäuse erhielten peroral 15 mg der Carica papaya Blattsuspension, gleiche Volumina physiologischer Kochsalzlösung oder Palmöl. Die Thrombozytenzahl wurde unmittelbar vor sowie 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 24, 48 und 72 Stunden nach der Applikation bestimmt. Bei den mit C. papaya behandelten Mäusen zeigte sich eine signifikante Erhöhung der Thrombozytenzahl 1, 2, 4, 8, 10 und 12 Stunden nach der Anwendung. Die mit physiologischer Kochsalzlösung behandelte Gruppe zeigte lediglich eine zeitweilige, nicht signifikante Erhöhung der Thrombozytenzahlen, offenbar Ausdruck eines zirkadischen Zyklus. In der mit Palmöl allein behandelten Gruppe wurde eine protrahierte, bei 8 und 48 Stunden signifikante Erhöhung der Thrombozytenzahl verzeichnet, möglicherweise als Folge einer bisher unbekannten Stimulation der Freisetzung von Thrombozyten. Die Ergebnisse legen eine erweiterte Dosisstudie nahe, sowie die Isolierung und strukturelle Aufklärung der für die Ausschüttung bzw. Produktion von Thrombozyten verantwortlichen Inhaltsstoffe von C. papaya.


Following up a popular use of crude leaf preparations from Carica papaya for the treatment of dengue infections, a suspension of powdered Carica papaya leaves in palm oil has been investigated for its effect on thrombocyte counts in mice, administering by gavage 15 mg of powdered leaves per kg body weight to 5 mice. Equal numbers of animals received corresponding volumes of either palm oil alone or physiological saline solution. Thrombocyte counts before and at 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours after dosing revealed significantly higher mean counts at 1, 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12 after dosing with the C. papaya leaf formulation as compared to the mean count at hour 0. There was only a non-significant rise of thrombocyte counts in the group having received saline solution, possibly the expression of a normal circadian rhythm in mice. The group having received palm oil only showed a protracted increase of platelet counts that was significant at hours 8 and 48 and obviously the result of a hitherto unknown stimulation of thrombocyte release. The results call for a dose-response investigation and for extending the studies to the isolation and identification of the C. papaya substances responsible for the release and/or production of thrombocytes.

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Correspondence to Walther H. Wernsdorfer.

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Sathasivam, K., Ramanathan, S., Mansor, S. et al. Thrombocyte counts in mice after the administration of papaya leaf suspension. Wien Klin Wochenschr 121 (Suppl 3), 19–22 (2009).

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