Studies on neuropharmacological profile of ethanol extract of Moringa oleifera leaves in mice

Adewale G Bakre, Adegbuyi O Aderibigbe, Olusegun G Ademowo
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2013 October 7, 149 (3): 783-9

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Moringa oleifera (family Moringaceae), commonly called Horseradish or tree of life, is traditionally used for the treatment of epilepsy and neurologic conditions.

AIM OF THE STUDY: The objective of this study is to investigate the neurobehavioural and anticonvulsant properties of the ethanol extract from the leaves of Moringa oleifera.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Neurobehavioural properties were evaluated using the open field, hole board, Y-maze, elevated plus maze (EPM) and pentobarbitone-induced hypnosis. Pentylenetetrazole (leptazol), picrotoxin and strychnine induced convulsion tests were used to investigate the anti-convulsive actions of Moringa oleifera.

RESULTS: The result showed that the extract (250-2000mg/kg) caused a significant dose-dependent decrease in rearing, grooming, head dips and locomotion (P<0.001). It also enhanced learning and memory and increased anxiogenic effect. In addition, the extract (2000mg/kg) protected mice against pentylenetetrazol induced convulsion, but has no effect on picrotoxin and strychnine induced convulsion. The effects of the extract in the various models were comparable to those of the standard drugs used except in Y-maze, EPM and picrotoxin and strychnine induced convulsion. The LD50 obtained for the acute toxicity studied using oral route of administration was >6.4g/kg.

CONCLUSION: The findings from this study suggest that the ethanol extract of Moringa oleifera leaves possesses CNS depressant and anticonvulsant activities possibly mediated through the enhancement of central inhibitory mechanism involving release γ-amino butyric acid (GABA). The results partially justified the traditional use of the extract for the treatment of epilepsy.

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