Author(s): Bopaiah CP, Pradhan N, Venkataram BS
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Abstract The effects of 50\% ethanol extract of one formulated ayurvedic product, consisting of a mixture of medicinal plant species, was investigated on behavioral despair test (forced swimming test, FST), central dopaminergic and serotonergic activity in rats. The effects on the forced swimming test were assessed along with the levels of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolites homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindoleaceticacid (5-HIAA) in striatum, frontal cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus and brain stem after 21 days of chronic oral administration of the extract (500 and 1500 mg/kg-body weight). The extract significantly increased climbing behavior at 500 mg/kg and increased swimming behavior by reducing immobility time at 1500 mg/kg when compared with the control group in forced swimming test (P<0.05). This showed that the active substances present in 50\% ethanol extract of the ayurvedic preparation possess antidepressant activity and their specificity towards particular behavior, depends on the concentration of the extract. Further it showed that the enhancement of active behavior in FST is not due to generalized motor activity. The neurochemical estimations revealed the swim stressor inducing alterations in the levels of DA, 5-HT and their metabolites HVA and 5-HIAA in the brain regions assayed as compared with the non-stressed control rats. These changes were prevented extract treated rats. The 500 mg/kg extract treated group had significantly increased the levels of DA in frontal cortex, hypothalamus and hippocampus whereas the 5-HT in hypothalamus (P<0.05). However, there were no significant changes in the levels of HVA and 5-HIAA. These behavioral and biochemical results indicate antidepressant properties of the extract, which may be mediated by the dopaminergic and serotonergic mechanisms in rat brain.
This article was published in J Ethnopharmacol
and referenced in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants