Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 621–635 | Cite as

Gastro-protective and Anti-stress Efficacies of Monomethyl Fumarate and a Fumaria indica Extract in Chronically Stressed Rats

  • Anshul Shakya
  • Upendra Kumar Soni
  • Geeta Rai
  • Shyam Sunder Chatterjee
  • Vikas KumarEmail author
Original Research


Results of the very first experiments conducted to evaluate therapeutic potentials of a fumarate containing Fumaria indica extract and of fairly low daily oral doses of monomethyl fumarate for prevention of chronic unavoidable foot-shock stress-induced gastric ulcers, and possible involvement of diverse neuro-hormonal and oxidative process in their stress response desensitizing effects are reported and discussed in this article. Preventive effects of 21 daily oral 60, 120, and 240 mg/kg doses of a standardized 50 % methanolic F. indica extract (MFI) and 1.25, 2.50, and 5.00 mg/kg/day of pure monomethyl fumarate (MMF) were compared in rats subjected to one hour daily unavoidable foot-shocks. A pharmaceutically well-standardized Withania somnifera (WS) root extract was used as a reference herbal anti-stress agent in all experiments. Effects of the treatments on stress-induced alterations in body weight, adrenal and spleen weights, gastric ulcer and ulcer index, weight of glandular stomach, protective mucosal glycoprotein content, cellular proliferation, oxidative stress on stomach fundus, and brain tissues of male rats were quantified. Other parameters quantified were plasma corticosterone levels, brain monoamine levels, and expressions of the cytokines TNF-α, IL-10, and IL-1β in blood and brain of stressed and treated rats. Most but not every observed stress-induced anomalies were suppressed or completely prevented by both MFI and pure MMF treatments in dose-dependent manner. Qualitatively, the observed activity profiles of both of them were similar to those of WS dose tested. These results reveal that both MFI and MMF are potent gastro-protective agents against chronic unavoidable stress-induced ulcers and strongly suggest that they act as regulators or modulators of monoamine, corticosterone, and cytokine homeostasis.


Cytokine expression Fumaria indica Monoamines Monomethyl fumarate Stress Ulcer 



Authors would like to acknowledge generous support of Indian Herbs Research and Supply Co. Ltd., Saharanpur, India for providing the analytical characterized Fumaria indica extract, and Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, India for providing complementary sample of standardized root extract of Withania somnifera along with its HPLC fingerprints. Anshul Shakya thankfully acknowledged the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India for providing the financial assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anshul Shakya
    • 1
  • Upendra Kumar Soni
    • 2
  • Geeta Rai
    • 2
  • Shyam Sunder Chatterjee
    • 3
  • Vikas Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Neuropharmacology Research Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutics, Indian Institute of TechnologyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Faculty of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  3. 3.Stettiner Straße 1KarlsruheGermany

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