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Phytochemical screening and evaluation of cardioprotective activity of ethanolic extract of Ocimum basilicum L. (basil) against isoproterenol induced myocardial infarction in rats

Fatemeh Fathiazad1, Amin Matlobi2, Arash Khorrami3, Sanaz Hamedeyazdan1, Hamid Soraya3, Mojtaba Hammami3, Nasrin Maleki-Dizaji3 and Alireza Garjani3*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

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DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2012, 20:87  doi:10.1186/2008-2231-20-87

Published: 5 December 2012


Background and the purpose of the study

The objectives of the present study were phytochemical screening and study of the effects of ethanolic extract of aerial parts of Ocimum basilicum (basil) on cardiac functions and histopathological changes in isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction (MI).


The leaves of the plant were extracted with ethanol by maceration and subjected to colorimetry to determine flavonoids and phenolic compounds. High-performance TLC analysis and subsequent CAMAG's TLC scanning were performed to quantify rosmarinic acid content. Wistar rats were assigned to 6 groups of normal control, sham, isoproterenol, and treatment with 10, 20, and 40 mg/kg of the extract two times per day concurrent with MI induction. A subcutaneous injection of isoproterenol (100 mg/kg/day) for 2 consecutive days was used to induce MI.


Phytochemical screening indicated the presence of phenolic compounds (5.36%) and flavonoids (1.86%). Rosmarinic acid was the principal phenolic compound with a 15.74% existence. The ST-segment elevation induced by isoproterenol was significantly suppressed by all doses of the extract. A severe myocardial necrosis and fibrosis with a sharp reduction in left ventricular contractility and a marked increase in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure were seen in the isoproterenol group, all of which were significantly improved by the extract treatment. In addition to in-vitro antioxidant activity, the extract significantly suppressed the elevation of malondialdehyde levels both in the serum and the myocardium.


The results of the study demonstrate that Ocimum basilicum strongly protected the myocardium against isoproterenol-induced infarction and suggest that the cardioprotective effects could be related to antioxidative activities.

Myocardial infarction; O. basilicum; Basil; Antioxidant; Isoproterenol