COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Anticonvulsant effect of Ficus religiosa: role of serotonergic pathways

Damanpreet Singh, Rajesh Kumar Goel
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2009 June 22, 123 (2): 330-4
19429380

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Ficus religiosa (Moraceae) is reported to have numerous therapeutic utility in folk medicine. Among different biological activities on central nervous system, it has been reported to be used in ethnomedical treatment of epilepsy, which led us to further explore its anticonvulsant activity in various animal models of epilepsy.

AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate anticonvulsant activity of methanolic extract of figs of Ficus religiosa in animal models and to determine its possible anticonvulsant mechanism.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Anticonvulsant activity of figs extract (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) was studied in seizures induced by maximum electroshock (MES), picrotoxin and pentylenetetrazol (PTZ). Cyproheptadine, a nonselective (5HT(1/2)) serotonin antagonist (4 mg/kg, i.p.) was used to study the reversal of protective effect of extract in the above mentioned models. Acute toxicity, neurotoxicity and potentiation of pentobarbitone induced sleep by extract was also studied.

RESULTS: Extract showed no toxicity, potentiated pentobarbitone induced sleep and inhibited seizures induced by MES and picrotoxin in a dose dependent manner. Anticonvulsant effect of extract was comparable to clinically used antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin and diazepam). However, PTZ induced seizures were not inhibited. Animals pretreated with cyproheptadine showed inhibition of the anticonvulsant effect of extract.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggested that the methanolic extract of figs of Ficus religiosa had anticonvulsant activity against MES and picrotoxin induced convulsions, with no neurotoxic effect, in a dose dependent manner. Inhibition of the anticonvulsant effect of extract by cyproheptadine substantiates the involvement of serotonergic pathways for the anticonvulsant activity of extract.

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