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Residual aqueous fraction of stem bark extract of Xeromphis nilotica and behavioral effects in mice

Author(s): N M Danjuma | A U Zezi | A H Yaro | A M Musa | A Ahmed | H A Sanni | I M Maje

Journal: International Journal of Applied Research in Natural Products
ISSN 1940-6223

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Residual aqueous fraction | Xeromphis nilotica | Behavior

Summary: Xeromphis nilotica is a lowland shrub widespread in Northern Nigeria where it is used for treatment of mental disorders. This study aimed at evaluating the behavioral effects of the residual aqueous fraction of the stem bark extract of X. nilotica which is of relevance to its application in folklore medicine. The tests conducted were diazepam induced sleep in mice, beam walk assay in mice, hole-board test as well as acute toxicity test and Phytochemical analysis. The results revealed a high yield of the extract (3.02%). The LD50 was calculated to be 471.2 mg/kg intraperitoneally. Phytochemical analysis revealed tannins. The extract also showed a dose dependent prolongation of diazepam induced sleep which was significant (p≤ 0.05) at 40 mg/kg (from 75±4.0 min in normal saline to 130.2±10.2 min). No significant effect on onset of sleep was however observed. In the hole-board test, an overall increase in exploratory activity was observed (22.0±1.2 mean number of head dips at 40 mg/kg) compared to diazepam 2 mg/kg (8.6±1.4 mean number of head dips). The extract had no effect on time spent on beam in the beam walk assay in mice but a significant (p≤ 0.05) difference was observed in the number of foot slips compared to diazepam 1 mg/kg, used as a standard reference drug. The extract showed 0.8±0.2, 1.0±0.4 and 1.2±0.2 mean number of slips at 10, 20 and 40 mg/kg compared to diazepam with 7.2±2.0 mean number of slips. The overall results of this study revealed sedative effect of this fraction which might have contributed to the application of the stem bark of Xeromphis nilotica in ethno-medicine for treatment of mental disorders.   Industrial relevance: According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 450 million people suffer from a mental or behavioral disorder. Only a few of this population receives basic treatment. Many of them in the developing countries still rely on traditional healing practices and medicinal plants for treatment of these conditions. A number of medicinal plants are used in the management of mental or behavioral disorders. Scientific research is needed to provide evidences of the safety and efficacy of beneficial medicinal plants as well as develop from these plants newer agents with greater efficacy, minimal side effects and a favorable drug-drug, drug-food interactions. Behavioral studies are usually employed in the search for new drugs. These studies identify psychotropic effects of potential medicinal plants. Central nervous system depressant effect is observed in sedatives, hypnotics and tranquilizers as well as antidepressants at high doses. This study therefore will aid ultimately in the development of an agent to be used in treatment of one of the aforementioned neuropsychiatric (mental) disorders.
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