Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 107–112 | Cite as

Comparative extrapyramidal effects of Rauwolfia vomitoria, chlorpromazine and reserpine in mice

  • Sunday Agba Bisong
  • Richard Earl Brown
  • Eme Effiom Osim
Original Paper


Most antipsychotics interfere with the dopaminergic system, resulting in extrapyramidal effects. This study compared the extrapyramidal effects of chlorpromazine (Cpz), the herb Rauwolfia vomitoria (RV) and its alkaloid reserpine (Res), used as antipsychotics, in mice. Ninety age-matched male CD-1 strain of mice (25–33 g body weight) were divided into 3 groups, each consisting of 5 subgroups (n = 6). Cpz (0.0, 0.25, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 30 min before testing. RV (0.0, 0.25, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 mg/kg, i.p.) and Res (0.0, 0.1, 0.4, 0.8, 1.6 mg/kg, i.p.) were administered 24 h before testing. Locomotor behaviour (open field test) and motor coordination (acceleratory rotarod) were assessed. Mice were also observed for 10 min for tremor and vacuous chewing movement (VCM). CPZ and Res dose-dependently decreased locomotor behaviour and impaired motor coordination (p < 0.01). RV also decreased locomotor behaviour (4.0 mg/kg; p < 0.05) but had minimal effect on motor coordination. VCM was lower in the RV group (0.17 ± 0.16/10 min) than the Res (6.8 ± 1.36/10 min) and Cpz groups (7.83 ± 1.95/10 min): F (4,25) = 10.703; p < 0.01. The frequency of bouts of tremor was also lower in the RV group (1.17 ± 0.72/10 min) than the Res (21.2 ± 5.63/10 min) and Cpz (7.83 ± 1.59/10 min) groups: F (4,25) = 11.012; p < 0.001. The root bark extract of R. vomitoria, therefore, has great potential in the management of psychotic disorders.


Chlorpromazine Rauwolfia vomitoria Reserpine Extrapyramidal effects 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunday Agba Bisong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard Earl Brown
    • 2
  • Eme Effiom Osim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, College of Medical SciencesUniversity of CalabarCalabarNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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