Anti-amnesic effect of Ficus religiosa in scopolamine-induced anterograde and retrograde amnesia

Harjeet Kaur, Damanpreet Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Rajesh K Goel
Pharmaceutical Biology 2010, 48 (2): 234-40

CONTEXT: Ficus religiosa Linn (Moraceae) is a variety of fig tree. Its figs are known to contain a high serotonergic content, and modulation of serotonergic neurotransmission plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of amnesia. Thus, the present study was envisaged.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of the methanol extract of figs of Ficus religiosa (FRFE) on scopolamine-induced anterograde and retrograde amnesia in mice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Transfer latency (TL) to the preferred niche in the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and learning avoidance of passive behavior to avoid punishment in the modified passive avoidance paradigm (MPA) served as behavioral models for the assessment of memory. Scopolamine (1 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered before training for induction of anterograde amnesia and before retrieval for induction of retrograde amnesia in both models. TL in the EPM, step down latency (SDL), number of trials, and number of mistakes in the MPA were determined in vehicle control, FRFE treated (10, 50, and 100 mg/kg, i.p.), and standard groups (piracetam 200 mg/kg, i.p.). Cyproheptadine, a non-selective 5-HT(1/2) blocker (4 mg/kg, i.p.), was administered along with the FRFE to investigate the involvement of serotonergic pathways in the anti-amnesic effect of FRFE.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: FRFE resulted in a significant improvement of memory, as its treatment attenuated the scopolamine-induced anterograde and retrograde amnesia dose-dependently. Further, cyproheptadine pretreatment significantly reversed the anti-amnesic effect of FRFE.

CONCLUSION: FRFE has anti-amnesic activity against scopolamine-induced amnesia, in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of the anti-amnesic effect of FRFE by cyproheptadine substantiates the involvement of serotonergic pathways for its activity.

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