Centella asiatica extract normalizes GABAergic transmission in the rats amygdala and attenuates ethanol withdrawal anxiety like behavior associated with ethanol abstinence

[Speaker] Lalit Sharma:1,2
[Co-author] Girdhari Lal Gupta:3, Gopal Singh Bisht:1
1:Department of Pharmacy, Jaypee University, Solan, H. P., India, 2:School Of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shoolini University, Solan, India, 3:Department of Pharmacology, SPPSPTM, SVKM NMIMS University, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Background: Alcohol abuse is a major problem worldwide and it affects people economy and health. Ethanol withdrawal syndrome is a group of disorders that appear after chronic alcohol intake. Centella asiatica is one of the important medicinal herb is being used by ethnic people since prehistoric times. It contains large amount of pentacyclic triterpenoid saponins providing active compounds which stimulate cell rejuvenation, improving physical and mental health. The present investigation was designed to explore the effect of Centella asiatica extract in anxiety like behavior associated with ethanol withdrawal following long term voluntary ethanol consumption in rats.
Methods: Centella asiatica extract was prepared using hydroalcoholic soxhlation extraction. Young healthy male Wistar rats (200-240 g) were allowed to voluntary intake of ethanol (day 1: 4.5 % v/v, day 2: 7.5% v/v, day 3-42: 9% v/v) for 42 days. The behavioral assessments were done using elevated plus maze; light-dark model and actophotometer on 43th, 44th& 45th day. The vehicle, Centella asiatica extract (100, 200 & 300 mg/kg, p.o.) and standard drug diazepam (2 mg/kg, i.p) were administered on peak withdrawal symptoms. Biochemical parameters like SGPT, SGOT, GGT and serum alkaline phosphatase were also determined. After the completion of the protocol animals were sacrificed and brain was isolated. From isolated rat brain, tissues were taken from hippocampus, amygdala and pre-frontal cortex for comparative mRNA expression studies in control and ethanol abstinence animals for GABAA receptor and NMDA-glutamate receptor subunits through real time PCR.
Results: Centella asiatica extract showed significant protective effect in ethanol withdrawal anxiety at all the doses 100, 200 & 300 mg/kg. mRNA expression studies on the isolated brain tissues showed that Centella asiatica extract normalizes the GABAnergic transmission in the rats amygdala and inhibits the ethanol withdrawal anxiety like behavior.
Conclusion:The findings from the present investigation may suggest the potential use of Centella asiatica extract in alcohol deprivation anxiety like effects.
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