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Anxiolytic and Hypnotic Effects of Aqueous and Ethanolic Extracts of Aerial Parts of Echium italicum L. in Mice

Author(s): Hossein Hosseinzadeh | Shabnam Shahandeh | Shabnam Shahsavand

Journal: Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products
ISSN 1735-7780

Volume: 7;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 71;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Hypnotics and Sedatives | Rotarod Performance Test | Anti-Anxiety Agents.

Background: Research in the area of herbal psychopharmacology has clearly improved in recent decades. Self-administration of herbal medicines has been the most popular therapeutic alternative to standard medicine..Objectives: Since the extract of Echium amoenum exhibits an anxiolytic effect, the aim of this study is to evaluate the anxiolytic and hypnotic effects in mice of the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of aerial parts of E. italicum, a member of the Boraginaceae family..Materials and Methods: Mice were administered the agents intraperitoneally before the start of the experiments for evaluation of hypnotic activity (induced by sodium pentobarbital, 30 mg/kg, i.p.), anxiolytic activity (elevated plus-maze [EPM] test), locomotor activity (open field test), and motor coordination (rotarod test)..Result: The ethanolic and aqueous extracts of E. italicum, at doses of 1.2 and 2.1 g/kg, increased the percentage of time-spent and the percentage of arm entries in the open arms of the EPM and decreased the percentage of time-spent in the closed arms of the EPM. Moreover, both extracts decreased the pentobarbital-induced latency to sleep and significantly increased the total sleeping time induced by pentobarbital. In addition, locomotor activity was affected by aqueous extracts and ethanolic extract (at higher doses). Both extracts showed no effect in the rotarod test..Conclusions: These results suggest that both ethanolic and aqueous extracts of E. italicum may have anxiolytic effects and sedative activity but no effect on muscle relaxation.
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