Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 867–879 | Cite as

Achyranthes aspera Attenuates epilepsy in experimental animals: possible involvement of GABAergic mechanism

  • Gollapalle Lakshminarayanashastry ViswanathaEmail author
  • Marikunte V. Venkataranganna
  • Nunna Bheema Lingeswara Prasad
  • Ashok Godavarthi
Original Article


The present study was aimed to examine the possible anticonvulsant property of aerial parts of Achyranthes aspera using various experimental models of epilepsy in mice. Petroleum ether extract of aerial parts of A. aspera (PeAA), methanolic eAA (MeAA) and aqueous eAA (AeAA) was initially evaluated against six-hertz seizure model in mice, based on the outcomes the effective extract was further evaluated against maximal electroshock (MES) and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) models in mice. In addition, the potent extract was evaluated against the PTZ model by co-administering with flumazenil (FMZ), and also evaluated for its effect on GABA levels in brain and NMDA-induced lethality in mice. Furthermore, the probable locomotor deficit-inducing property of the extract was evaluated by actophotometer test in mice. In results, only MeAA showed protection against six-hertz-induced seizures in mice, based on these outcomes only MeAA was evaluated in MES and PTZ models. Notably, the MeAA (200, 400 and 800 mg/kg) has offered mild and dose dependent protection against MES and PTZ-induced seizures in mice. Alongside, the MeAA (400 mg/kg) showed a significant increase in GABA levels in the brain compared to control, and in line with these findings the anti-PTZ effect of MeAA (400 mg/kg, p.o.) was blocked when co-administered with flumazenil (5 mg/kg, i.p.). However, the MeAA has not shown significant protection against NMDA-induced mortality and also did not cause significant change in locomotor activity compared to before treatment. These findings suggest that MeAA possess mild anticonvulsant activity and the outcomes further confirmed the involvement of GABAergic mechanism behind the anticonvulsant activity of MeAA.


Achyranthes aspera Anticonvulsant Epilepsy Herbal medicine Six-hertz seizures MES –induced seizures PTZ-induced seizures Gamma-amino butyric acid Diazepam 



Petroleum ether extract of Achyranthes aspera aerial parts


Methanolic extract of Achyranthes aspera aerial parts


Aqueous extract of Achyranthes aspera aerial parts


Maximal Electroshock




Hind limb Tonic extensor


Hind limb Tonic flexion


Gamma amino butyric acid


N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid


lethal dose


Effective dose



The authors acknowledge the technical help provided by Dr. Nandakumar K, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Manipal college of Pharmaceutical sciences, Manipal.

The authors greatly acknowledge Ms.Radiant Research Services Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, Vitthartha Life Sciences, Bommasandra Industrial Area, Bangalore, and Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal for providing all the neccesary facilities and Technical help in completing the research work.

Authors Contribution

GLV, MVV, NBLP and AG have contributed equally for designing, conducting the study, data collection, analysis and preparation of manuscript, MVV and NBLP involved in critical analysis and interpretation of findings, MVV, NBLP, AG have proof read and approved the final version of manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare there are no conflicts of interest and they guarantee no further ethical conflict among the authors and the experimental methodology. Also, no formal funding from any agencies was used for this project.

Supplementary material

11011_2017_9981_MOESM1_ESM.docx (95 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 94 kb)
11011_2017_9981_MOESM2_ESM.docx (93 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 93 kb)
11011_2017_9981_MOESM3_ESM.docx (92 kb)
ESM 3 (DOCX 92 kb)


  1. Aditya G, Ajay KS (2016) The pharmacological potential of rutin. Saudi Pharm J. doi: 10.1016/j.jsps.2016.04.025 Google Scholar
  2. Anandhan A, Tamilselvam K, Vijayraja D (2010) Resveratrol attenuates oxidative stress and improves behaviour in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) challenged mice. Ann Neurosci 17(3):113–119CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Barua CC, Talukdar A, Begum SA, Buragohain B, Roy JD, Borah RS, Lahkar M (2009a) Antidepressant-like effects of the methanolic extract of Achyranthes aspera Linn. In Animal Models of Depression Pharmacologyonline 2:587–594Google Scholar
  4. Barua CC, Roy JD, Buragohain B (2009b) Anxiolytic effects of hydroethanolic extract of Drymariacordata L wild. Ind J Exp Biol 47:969–973Google Scholar
  5. Behr C, Goltzene MA, Kosmalski G, Hirsch E, Ryvlin P (2016) Epidemiology of epilepsy. Rev Neurol 172(1):27–36CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bhosale UA, Yegnanarayan R, Pophale PD, Zambare MR, Somani RS (2011a) Study of central nervous system depressant and behavioral activity of an ethanol extract of Achyranthes aspera (Agadha) in different animal models. Int J Appl Basic Med Res 1(2):104–108CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhosale U, Yegnanarayan R, Prachi P, Zambare M, Somani RS (2011b) Study of CNS depressant and behavioral activity of an ethanol extract of Achyranthes aspera (Chirchita) in mouse model. Ann Neurosci 18(2):44–47CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown WC, Schiffman DO, Swinyard EA, Goodman LS (1953) Comparative assay of an antiepileptic drugs by psychomotor seizure test and minimal electroshock threshold test. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 107:273–283PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bruno E, Buemi MR, De Luca L, Ferro S, Monforte AM, Supuran CT, Vullo D, De Sarro G, Russo E, Gitto R (2016) In vivo evaluation of selective carbonic anhydrase inhibitors as potential anticonvulsant agents. Chem Med Chem 11:1812–1818. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201500596 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Calderón-Montaño JM, Burgos ME, Pérez GC, López LM (2011) A review on the dietary flavonoid kaempferol. Mini Rev Med Chem 11(4):298–344CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Carter SO, Banerjee PK, McIntyre B, David H (2000) Modulation of absence seizures by the GABAA receptor: a critical role for metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4). J Neurosci 20:6218–6224Google Scholar
  12. Chakraborty A, Amudha P, Geetha M (2010) Evaluation of anxiolytic activity of methanolic extract of Sapindusmukorossigaertn in mice. Int J Pharma Bio Sci 1(3):1–8Google Scholar
  13. Chandana C, Barua AT, Shameem AB, Prabodh B, Mangala L (2012) Anxiolytic activity of methanol leaf extract of Achyranthesaspera Linn in mice using experimental models of anxiety. Ind J Pharmacol 44(1):63–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Christiaan HV, Ruud O, Elsebet N, James MC, Henrik HH, Lucianne G, Berend O, Naheed RM (2012) GABAA receptor a subunits differentially contribute to diazepam tolerance after chronic treatment. PLoS One 7(8):e3054Google Scholar
  15. Chrościńska KM, Jargiełło BM, Andres MM, Łuszczki JJ, Czuczwar SJ (2016) Influence of caffeine on the protective activity of gabapentin and topiramate in a mouse model of generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Pharmacol Rep 68(4):680–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Citraro R, Navarra M, Leo A, Donato Di Paola E, Santangelo E, Lippiello P, Aiello R, Russo E, De Sarro G (2016) The anticonvulsant activity of a flavonoid-rich Extract from Orange juice involves both NMDA and GABA-benzodiazepine receptor complexes. Molecules 21. doi: 10.3390/molecules21091261
  17. Formica JV, Regelson W (1995) Review of the biology of quercetin and related bioflavonoids. Food ChemToxicol 33(12):1061–1080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gatta E, Cupello A, Di Braccio M, Grossi G, Robello M, Scicchitano F, Russo E, De Sarro G (2016) Anticonvulsive activity in Audiogenic DBA/2 mice of 1,4-benzodiazepines and 1,5-benzodiazepines with different activities at cerebellar granule cell GABAA receptors. J Mol Neurosci: MN 60:539–547. doi: 10.1007/s12031-016-0838-0 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Gawande DY, Goel RK (2015) Pharmacological validation of in-silico guided novel nootropic potential of Achyranthes aspera L. J Ethnopharmacol 175:324–334CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Gregory SK (2011) Quercetin. Alter Med Rev 16(2):172–194Google Scholar
  21. Hamed SA (2016) The effect of epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs on sexual, reproductive and gonadal health of adults with epilepsy. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol 9(6):807–819CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Hauser WA, Annegers JF, Kurland LT (1993) Incidence of epilepsy and unprovoked seizures in Rochester, Minnesota: 1935–1984. Epilepsia 34:453–468CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Hernan AE, Holmes GL (2016) Antiepileptic drug treatment strategies in neonatal epilepsy. Prog Brain Res 226:179–193CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Huang RQ, Bell-Horner CL, Dibas MI, Covey DF, Drewe JA, Dillon GH (2001) Pentylenetetrazole-induced inhibition of recombinant gammaaminobutyric acid type a (GABA(a)) receptors: mechanism and site of action. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 298:986–995PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Ishola IO, Olayemi SO, Yemitan OK, Ekpemandudiri NK (2013) Mechanisms of anticonvulsant and sedative actions of the ethanolic stem-bark extract of Ficus Sur Forssk (Moraceae) in rodents. Pak J Biol Sci 16(21):1287–1294CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Jarogniew JŁ, Aleksandra W, Ewa M, Dominika P, Dariusz D, Magdalena F (2012) Isobolographic characterization of interaction of levetiracetam with clobazam in the mouse 6 Hz psychomotor seizure model. J Pre-Clin Res 6(1):25–30Google Scholar
  27. John G (2013) Molecular mechanisms of antiseizure drug activity at GABAA receptors. Seizure 22:589–600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Joshi R, Reeta KH, Sharma SK, Tripathi M, Gupta YK (2015) Pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic interaction of PanchagavyaGhrita with phenytoin and carbamazepine in maximal electroshock induced seizures in rats. Ayu 36(2):196–202CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Kaminski RM, Livingood MR, Rogawski MA (2004) Allopregnanolone analogs that positively modulate GABA receptors protect against partial seizures induced by 6-Hz electrical stimulation in mice. Epilepsia 45(7):864–867CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Karim N, Irshad S, Khan I, Mohammad A, Anis I, Shah MR, Khan I, Chebib M (2015) GABA(a) receptor modulation and neuropharmacological activities of viscosine isolated from Dodonaeaviscosa (Linn). Pharmacol Biochem Behav 136:64–72CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Khan N, Akhtar MS, Khan BA, Braga Vde A, Reich A (2015) Antiobesity, hypolipidemic, antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of Achyranthes aspera seed saponins in high cholesterol fed albino rats. Arch Med Sci 11(6):1261–1271CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. Khazdair MR, Boskabady MH, Hosseini M, Rezaee R M Tsatsakis A(2015) The effects of Crocus sativus (saffron) and its constituents on nervous system: a review. Avicenna J Phytomed 5(5):376–391PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Kothavade PS, Bulani VD, Nagmoti DM, Deshpande PS, Gawali NB, Juvekar AR (2015) Therapeutic Effect of Saponin Rich Fraction of Achyranthes aspera Linn. On Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis in Sprague-Dawley Rats. Autoimm Dis 2015:943645Google Scholar
  34. Leander JD, Lawson RR, Ornstein PL, Zimmerman DM (1988) N-methyl-D-aspartic acid induced lethality in mice: selective antagonism by phencyclidine-like drugs. Brain Res 448:115–120CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Li J, Fish RL, Cook SM, Tattersall FD, Atack JR (2006) Comparison of in vivo and ex vivo [3H]flumazenil binding assays to determine occupancy at the benzodiazepine binding site of rat brain GABAA receptors. Neuropharmacol 51(1):168–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Magdalena FL, Aleksandra W, Maria WKW, Piotr T, Jarogniew JL (2014) Effects of WIN 55,212-2 (a non-selective cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist) on the protective action of various classical antiepileptic drugs in the mouse 6 Hz psychomotor seizure model. J Neural Transm 121(7):707–715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Malami S, Kyari H, Danjuma NM, Ya'u J, Hussaini IM (2016) Anticonvulsant Properties of Methanol Leaf Extract of LaggeraAurita Linn. F. (Asteraceae) in Laboratory Animals. J Ethnopharmacol. 191:301–306CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Maria D, Arianna DL, Seyed FN, Zeliha ST, Seyed MN (2016) Polyphenols: well beyond the antioxidant capacity: Gallic acid and related compounds as neuroprotective agents: you are what you eat! Curr Pharm Biotechnol 15(4):362–372Google Scholar
  39. Marvin MG (2010) Overview of drugs used for epilepsy and seizures etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. PT 35(7):392–415Google Scholar
  40. Mishra A, Punia JK, Bladen C, Zamponi GW, Goel RK (2015) Anticonvulsant mechanisms of piperine, a piperidine alkaloid. Channels (Austin) 9(5):317–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mora PA, Hernandez MMD (2016) Anticonvulsant activity of methanolic extract from Kalanchoepinnata lam. Stems and roots in mice: a comparison to diazepam. Neurologia 31(3):161–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Moreau JL, Pieri L, Prud'hon B (1989) Convulsions induced by centrally administered NMDA in mice: effects of NMDA antagonists, benzodiazepines, minor tranquilizers and anticonvulsants. Br J Pharmacol 98:1050–1054CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Mukherjee H, Ojha D, Bag P, Chandel HS, Bhattacharyya S, Chatterjee TK et al (2013) Anti-herpes virus activities of Achyranthes aspera: an indianethnomedicine, and its triterpene acid. Microbiol Res 168(4):238–244CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Mula M (2016) Third generation antiepileptic drug monotherapies in adults with epilepsy. Expert Rev Neurother 16(9):1087–1092CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Narayan C, Kumar A (2014) Antineoplastic and immunomodulatory effect of polyphenolic components of Achyranthes aspera (PCA) extract on urethane induced lung cancer in vivo. Mol Biol Rep 41(1):179–191CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Ndhlala AR, Ghebrehiwot HM, Ncube B, Aremu AO, Gruz J, Subrtova M (2015) Antimicrobial, anthelmintic activities and characterisation of functional phenolic acids of Achyranthes aspera Linn.: a medicinal plant used for the treatment of wounds and ringworm in East Africa. Front Pharmacol 6:274. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00274 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. Nogueira E, Vassilieff VS (2000) Hypnotic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant effects of Rubus Brasiliensis. Involvement of GABA (a)-system. J Ethnopharmacol 70(3):275–280CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. OECD (2001) Guideline on acute oral toxicity (AOT) Environmental health and safety monograph series on testing and adjustment No.425. Accessed 23 Aug 2016
  49. Parkash O, Kumar D, Kumar S (2015) Screening of methanol extract and ethyl acetate fraction of AbieswebbianaLindl. forNeuropharmacologicalActivities. Ind J Pharm Sci 77(5):536–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Psarropoulou C, Matsokis N, Angelatou F, Kostopoulos G (1994) Pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures decrease γ-aminobutyric acid-mediated recurrent inhibition and enhance adenosinemediated depression. Epilepsia 35:12–19CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Rani N, Sharma SK, Vasudeva N (2012) Assessment of antiobesity potential of Achyranthes aspera Linn. Seed Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012:715912. doi: 10.1155/2012/715912 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Rundfeldt C, Wlaz P, Honack D, Loscher W (1995) Anticonvulsant tolerance and withdrawal characteristics of benzodiazepine receptor ligands in different seizure models in mice. Comparison of diazepam, bretazenil and abecarnil. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 275:693–702PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Sasso O, La Rana G, Vitiello S, Russo R, D'Agostino G, Iacono A, Russo E, Citraro R, Cuzzocrea S, Piazza PV, De Sarro G, Meli R, Calignano A (2010) Palmitoylethanolamide modulates pentobarbital-evoked hypnotic effect in mice: involvement of allopregnanolone biosynthesis. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 20(3):195–206CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Satinder A, Suvasini S (2013) Newer anti-epileptic drugs. Indian Pediatr 50:1033–1040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Saurabh SPS, Jha KK, Mishra G, Shruti S, Karchuli MS, Khosa RL (2011) Diuretic activity of whole plant extract of Achyranthes aspera Linn. Eur J Exp Biol 1(2):97–102Google Scholar
  56. Sean DH, Amanda N, Dana AH, Jan KM, Gary KH (2012) Benzodiazepine dependence and its treatment with low dose flumazenil. Br J Clin Pharmacol 77(2):285–294Google Scholar
  57. Shagun AST (2014) Achyranthes aspera Root extracts induce human ColonCancer cell (COLO-205) death by triggering the MitochondrialApoptosis pathway and S phase cell cycle arrest. Sci World J 2014:129697. doi: 10.1155/2014/129697 Google Scholar
  58. Shannon M, Albers G, Burkhardt K (1997) Safety and efficacy of flumazenil in the reversal of benzodiazepine-induced conscious sedation. J Pediatr 131(4):582–586CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Sharma J, Gairola S, Gaur RD, Painuli RM, Siddiqi TO (2013) Ethnomedicinal plants used for treating epilepsy by indigenous communities of sub-Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, Inda. J Ethnopharmacol 150(1):353–370CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Showraki A, Emamghoreishi M, Oftadegan S (2016) Anticonvulsant effect of the aqueous extract and essential oil of CarumCarvi L. seeds in a Pentylenetetrazol model of seizure in mice. Iran J Med Sci. 41(3):200–208PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Suher MA, Abdullah SE, Saleem SA, Samir FS, Amina SA (2000) Effects of acute and chronic triazolam treatments on brain GABA levels in albino rats. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars) 60(4):447–455Google Scholar
  62. Talukder FZ, Khan KA, Uddin R, Jahan N, Alam MA (2012) In vitro free radical scavenging and anti-hyperglycemic activities of Achyranthes aspera extract in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. Drug Discov Ther 6(6):298–305PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Uhlirova LM, Sustkova F, Krsiak M (2004) Behavioral effects of flumazenil in the social conflict test in mice. Psychopharmacol 171(3):259–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Viswanatha GL, Mohan CG, Shylaja H, Yuvaraj HC, Sunil V (2013) Anticonvulsant activity of 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-β-Dglucopyranose isolated from leaves of Mangifera indica. Naunyn Schmiedeberg's Arch Pharmacol 386(7):599–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wojda E, Wlaz A, Patsalos PN, Luszczki JJ (2009) Isobolographic characterization of interactions of levetiracetam with the various antiepileptic drugs in the mouse 6 Hz psychomotor seizure model. Epilepsy Res 86(2–3):163–174CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Wolfgang L (2011) Critical review of current animal models of seizures and epilepsy used in the discovery and development of new antiepileptic drugs. Seizure 20:359–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yamaguchi S, Donevan SD, Rogawski MA (1993) Anticonvulsant activity of AMPA/kainate antagonists: comparison of GYKJ 52466 and NBQX in maximal electroshock and chemoconvulsant seizure models. Epilepsy Res 15:179–184CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Yang Y, Wang X (2016) Sexual dysfunction related to antiepileptic drugs in patients with epilepsy. Expert Opin Drug Saf 15(1):31–42CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gollapalle Lakshminarayanashastry Viswanatha
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marikunte V. Venkataranganna
    • 3
  • Nunna Bheema Lingeswara Prasad
    • 4
  • Ashok Godavarthi
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiant Research Services Pvt LtdPeenya Industrial AreaBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.BangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Connexios Life Sciences Pvt LtdBangaloreIndia
  4. 4.Oil Technological and Pharmaceutical Research Institute (OTPRI)JNT University AnantapurAnanthapuramuIndia

Personalised recommendations