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Effect of Ocimum sanctum, ascorbic acid, and verapamil on macrophage function and oxidative stress in mice exposed to cocaine

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Author(s): Bhattacharya S | Rathi N | Mahajan P | Tripathi A | Paudel K | Rauniar G | Das B

Journal: Indian Journal of Pharmacology
ISSN 0253-7613

Volume: 41;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 134;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Ascorbic acid | cocaine | macrophage | Ocimum sanctum | verapamil

ABSTRACT
Objective: To investigate the effect of Ocimum sanctum, ascorbic acid, and verapamil on macrophage function and oxidative stress in experimental animals exposed to cocaine. Materials and Methods: Mice were used in this study and were divided randomly into different groups of six animals each. They were either treated with intraperitoneal injection of saline or cocaine hydrochloride or an oral feeding of oil of Ocimum sanctum, ascorbic acid or verapamil, or both (ascorbic acid and verapamil), and were evaluated for a respiratory burst of macrophages, superoxide and nitric oxide (NO) production, estimation of TNF-a in the serum and supernatant of cultured macrophages, estimation of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde- MDA) in the serum, and superoxide dismutase activity in the erythrocytes. Results: Unstimulated respiratory burst as well as superoxide production was enhanced on treatment with cocaine and all the three drugs were found to attenuate this enhancement. The bactericidal capacity of macrophages decreased significantly on chronic cocaine exposure, as it was associated with decreased respiratory burst and superoxide production. There was a significant decrease in NO production by macrophages on chronic cocaine exposure and all the test drugs were found to restore nitrite formation to a normal level. There was an increase in the malonylodialdehyde (MDA) level and decrease in the superoxide dismutase level on chronic cocaine exposure, and all the three drugs effectively decreased the MDA level and increased superoxide dismutase level. There was an increase in serum TNF-α on chronic cocaine exposure, which was decreased significantly by ascorbic acid and verapamil. Conclusion: O. sanctum, ascorbic acid, and verapamil were equally effective in improving the macrophage function and reducing oxidative stress. These findings suggested that O. sanctum, ascorbic acid, and verapamil attenuated acute and chronic cocaine-mediated effects.
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