Combretum mucronatum and Capparis thonningii prevent scopolamine-induced memory deficit in mice

Ismail Ogunbayode Ishola, Olufunmilayo Olaide Adeyemi, Esther Oluwatoyin Agbaje, Santoshkumar Tota, Rakesh Shukla
Pharmaceutical Biology 2013, 51 (1): 49-57

CONTEXT: Roots of Combretum mucronatum Schumach. & Thonn. (Combretaceae) and Capparis thonningii Schum. (Capparaceae) are used in southwest Nigeria in the treatment of inflammatory disorders and mental illness.

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the antidementic effect of the methanol root extracts of C. mucronatum and C. thonningii on scopolamine (3 mg/kg, i.p.) induced memory impairment in mice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The effect of C. mucronatum and C. thonningii (50-200 mg/kg) administered orally for 3 days on memory impairments induced in mice by scopolamine was assessed in the passive avoidance and Morris water maze test and compared with that of tacrine (5 mg/kg, i.p.). The activities of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) and antioxidant enzymes were estimated in the brain after the completion of behavioral studies.

RESULTS: C. mucronatum and C. thonningii root extracts (50-200 mg/kg) reversed scopolamine-induced memory deficit with significant (p < 0.05) increase in transfer latency in passive avoidance test. Similarly, the extracts (200 mg/kg) ameliorated memory deficit as a result of significant (p < 0.001) decrease in escape latency and path length in Morris water maze test. The increased AChE activity induced by scopolamine was significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited by C. mucronatum and C. thonningii (100 and 200 mg/kg) treatment which was similar to the effect of tacrine. Both extracts significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated scopolamine-induced increase in oxidative stress parameters as well as restoration of glutathione activity.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: C. mucronatum and C. thonningii extracts possess significant anticholinesterase, antioxidant and antidementic properties, which may be useful in the management of Alzheimer's disease.

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