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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 33  |  Page : 14-22

Potential antianxiety activity of Fumaria indica: A preclinical study

1 Neuropharmacology Research Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi, India
2 Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Stettiner Str. 1, D-76138 Karlsruhe, Germany; Retired Head of Pharmacology Research Laboratories, Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co. KG, Karlsruhe, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Vikas Kumar
Neuropharmacology Research Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi- 221 005, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: Financial assistance provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Government of India, New Delhi., Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23661988

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Background: In the view of diverse CNS modulating properties of Fumaria indica, present study was planned to evaluate its putative anxiolytic activity in behavioural models of rats, followed by elucidation of mechanism of observed activity through biochemical estimations. Materials and Methods: Effects of seven daily 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg oral doses of a Fumaria indica extract (FI) was compared with those of an acute oral dose (5 mg/kg) of lorazepam in a battery of rat models consisting of open-field, elevated plus and zero maze, social interaction, and novelty induced feeding tests. Results: Dose dependant antianxiety effects of FI observed in all tests were qualitatively similar to those of the reference anxiolytic drug. Although FI treatments did not alter the concentrations of noradrenaline and serotonin in hippocampus and hypothalamus, concentrations of both these monoamines were dose dependently elevated in prefrontal cortex of FI treated animals. Flunitrazepam binding in brain frontal cortex was also elevated by the extract. Moreover, higher levels of brain expressions of the cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-10 observed in animals with prior experience on elevated plus maze were almost completely reversed by the lowest dose of FI tested in the behavioral models. Conclusion: Taken together, these observations strongly suggest that FI is a functionally novel type of antianxiety agent, and that inhibition of cytokine expressions in the brain could be involved in its mode of action.

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