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Effects of Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb & Berthel. (Fabaceae) on the central nervous system in experimental animals

Author(s): Al-Tubuly Rida A. | Auzi Abdurazag A. | Al-Etri-Endi Amna A. | Nahar Lutfun | Sarker Satyajit D.

Journal: Archives of Biological Sciences
ISSN 0354-4664

Volume: 63;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1015;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Retama raetam | Fabaceae | central nervous system (CNS) | diazepam | North Africa

Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb & Berthel. (Fabaceae), commonly known as ‘raetam’ or ‘broom bush’, is a desert shrub that grows abundantly in North-African countries, Palestine and Syria. Traditionally, this plant has been used as an abortifacient, a purgative and a vermifuge. In the present study, the effect of the methanol (MeOH) extract of the aerial parts of R. raetam on the central nervous system (CNS) has been evaluated using a mice model. In the photoelectrical cell test, the extract of R. raetam (ERR) at a dose of 125 mg/kg body weight did not exhibit any effect on the spontaneous motor activity in mice. At a dose of 250 mg/kg body weight, ERR increased ambulatory movement, but had no effect on the non-ambulatory movement, while a dose of 375 mg/kg body weight decreased both ambulatory and non-ambulatory movements. The effect of ERR on the anxiety levels and behaviors of mice was investigated using the elevated plus-maze test. At doses of 125, 250 and 375 mg/kg body weight, ERR decreased anxiety levels without showing an effect on the total activity; it did not affect anxiety levels but increased the total activity; it increased anxiety levels and decreased the total activity, respectively. In the diazepam-induced sleep test, ERR increased the onset of sleep without affecting the duration of sleep at the dose of 250 mg/kg body weight. The dose of 375 mg/kg body weight decreased the onset of sleep while increasing the duration of sleep. ERR did not exhibit any effect on the diazepam-induced sleep in the presence of flumazenil or picrotoxin.

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