Asparagus racemosus Attenuates Anxiety-Like Behavior in Experimental Animal Models
- 413 Downloads
Asparagus racemosus Linn. (AR) is used worldwide as a medicinal plant. In the present study, the anxiolytic activity of standardized methanolic extract of root of AR (MAR) was evaluated in open-field test (OFT), hole-board, and elevated plus maze (EPM) tests. Rats received oral pretreatment of MAR in the doses of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg daily for 7 days and then were evaluated for the anxiolytic activity in different animal models. Both MAR (100 and 200 mg/kg) and diazepam (1 mg/kg, p.o.) increased the grooming behavior, number of central squares crossed, and time spent in the central area during OFT. Further, MAR (100 and 200 mg/kg) increased the head-dip and head-dip/sniffing behavior, and decreased sniffing activity in hole-board test. Furthermore, MAR (100 and 200 mg/kg) increased the percentage entries and time spent to open arm in EPM test paradigm. The anxiolytic activity in the experimental models was similar to that of diazepam. MAR (100 and 200 mg/kg) enhanced the level of amygdalar serotonin and norepinephrine. It also increased the expression of 5-HT2A receptors in the amygdala. In another set of experiment, flumazenil attenuated the anxiolytic effect of minimum effective dose of MAR (100 mg/kg) in OFT, hole-board, and EPM tests, indicating GABAA-mediated mechanism. Moreover, the anxiolytic dose of MAR did not show sedative-like effect in OFT and EPM tests compared to diazepam (6 mg/kg, p.o.). Thus, the anxiolytic response of MAR may involve GABA and serotonergic mechanisms. These preclinical data show that AR can be a potential agent for treatment of anxiety disorders.
KeywordsAsparagus racemosus Anxiety Serotonin GABA Amygdala
DG is thankful to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, for student fellowship. SK is thankful to University Grant Commission (UGC), India for the financial support.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Foyet HS, Tsala DE, Bouba AA, Hritcu L (2012) Anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects of the aqueous extract of Alafia multiflora stem barks in rodents. Adv Pharmacol Sci 2012:912041Google Scholar
- Goyal RK, Singh J, Lal H (2003) Asparagus racemosus—an update. Ind J Med Sci 57:408–414Google Scholar
- Krishnamurthy S, Garabadu D, Reddy NR (2013) Asparagus racemosus modulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and brain monoaminergic systems in rats. Nutr Neurosci 16:255–261Google Scholar
- Mechan AO, Moran PM, Elliott M, Young AJ, Joseph MH, Green R (2002) A comparison between Dark Agouti and Sprague–Dawley rats in their behaviour on the elevated plus-maze, open-field apparatus and activity meters, and their response to diazepam. Psychopharmacol (Berl) 159:188–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Palkovits M, Brownstein MJ (1988) Maps and guide to microdissection of the rat brain. Elsevier, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Sharma PC, Yelne MB, Dennis TJ (2000) Database on medicinal plants used in Ayurveda, volume I. Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha. Yugantar Prakashan (P.) Ltd., New Delhi, pp 418–430Google Scholar
- Somania R, Singhai AK, Shivgunde P, Jain D (2012) Asparagus racemosus Willd (Liliaceae) ameliorates early diabetic nephropathy in STZ induced diabetic rats. Ind J Exp Biol 50:469–475Google Scholar
- Wall PM, Messier C (2001) Methodological and conceptual issues in the use of the elevated plus-maze as a psychological measurement instrument of animal anxiety-like behavior. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 25:275–286Google Scholar
- Weisstaub NV, Zhou M, Lira A, Lambe E, González-Maeso J, Hornung JP, Sibille E, Underwood M, Itohara S, Dauer WT, Ansorge MS, Morelli E, Mann JJ, Toth M, Aghajanian G, Sealfon SC, Hen R, Gingrich JA (2006) Cortical 5-HT2A receptor signaling modulates anxiety-like behaviors in mice. Science 313:536–540CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar