JOURNAL ARTICLE

Anticonvulsant effect of Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) (Avocado) leaf aqueous extract in mice

John A O Ojewole, George J Amabeoku
Phytotherapy Research: PTR 2006, 20 (8): 696-700
16775810
Various morphological parts of Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) (avocado) are widely used in African traditional medicines for the treatment, management and/or control of a variety of human ailments, including childhood convulsions and epilepsy. This study examined the anticonvulsant effect of the plant's leaf aqueous extract (PAE, 50-800 mg/kg i.p.) against pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-, picrotoxin (PCT)- and bicuculline (BCL)-induced seizures in mice. Phenobarbitone and diazepam were used as reference anticonvulsant drugs for comparison. Like the reference anticonvulsant agents used, Persea americana leaf aqueous extract (PAE, 100-800 mg/kg i.p.) significantly (p < 0.05-0.001) delayed the onset of, and antagonized, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures. The plant's leaf extract (PAE, 100-800 mg/kg i.p.) also profoundly antagonized picrotoxin (PCT)-induced seizures, but only weakly antagonized bicuculline (BCL)-induced seizures. Although the data obtained in the present study do not provide conclusive evidence, it would appear that 'avocado' leaf aqueous extract (PAE) produces its anticonvulsant effect by enhancing GABAergic neurotransmission and/or action in the brain. The findings of this study indicate that Persea americana leaf aqueous extract possesses an anticonvulsant property, and thus lends pharmacological credence to the suggested ethnomedical uses of the plant in the management of childhood convulsions and epilepsy.

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