Author(s): Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Chakrabarti A
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Abstract Siotone (ST) is a herbal formulation comprising of Withania somnifera, Ocimum sanctum, Asparagus racemosus, Tribulus terristris and shilajit, all of which are classified in Ayurveda as rasayanas which are reputed to promote physical and mental health, improve defence mechanisms of the body and enhance longevity. These attributes are similar to the modern concept of adaptogenic agents, which are, known to afford protection of the human physiological system against diverse stressors. The present study was undertaken to investigate the adaptogenic activity of ST against chronic unpredictable, but mild, footshock stress induced perturbations in behaviour (depression), glucose metabolism, suppressed male sexual behaviour, immunosuppression and cognitive dysfunction in CF strain albino rats. Gastric ulceration, adrenal gland and spleen weights, ascorbic acid and corticosterone concentrations of adrenal cortex, and plasma corticosterone levels, were used as the stress indices. Panax ginseng (PG) was used as the standard adaptogenic agent for comparison. Additionally, rat brain levels of tribulin, an endogenous endocoid postulated to be involved in stress, were also assessed in terms of endogenous monoamine oxidase (MAO) A and MAOB inhibitory activity. Chronic unpredictable footshock induced marked gastric ulceration, significant increase in adrenal gland weight and plasma corticosterone levels, with concomitant decreases in spleen weight, and concentrations of adrenal gland ascorbic acid and corticosterone. These effects were attenuated by ST (50 and 100 mg/kg, p.o.) and PG (100 mg/kg, p.o.), administered once daily over a period of 14 days, the period of stress induction. Chronic stress also induced glucose intolerance, suppressed male sexual behaviour, induced behavioural depression (Porsolt's swim despair test and learned helplessness test) and cognitive dysfunction (attenuated retention of learning in active and passive avoidance tests), and immunosuppression (leucocyte migration inhibition and sheep RBC challenged increase in paw oedema in sensitized rats). All these chronic stress-induced perturbations were attenuated, dose-dependently by ST (50 and 100 mg/kg, p.o.) and PG (100 mg/kg, p.o.). Chronic stress-induced increase in rat brain tribulin activity was also reversed by these doses of ST and by PG. The results indicate that ST has significant adaptogenic activity, qualitatively comparable to PG, against a variety of behavioural, biochemical and physiological perturbations induced by unpredictable stress, which has been proposed to be a better indicator of clinical stress than acute stress parameters. The likely contribution of the individual constituents of ST in the observed adaptogenic action of the polyherbal formulation, have been discussed.
This article was published in Indian J Exp Biol
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals