ANTIDEPRESSANT ACTIVITY ON LEAVES OF POLYGONUM GLABRUM WILLD IN EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL

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Flavonoids: Flavonoids present in the PG include, flavonolglycoside, Viz., quercetin, rhamnetin, quercitrin, avicularin and rutin (Tiwari et al., 1979)21.

Polyphenols: Like Vanillic, syringic, p-hydroxybenzoic, protocatecheuic, gallic and cis- and trans –p-coumaric acids (Adinarayana et al., 1980)22.

Allied species

Polygonum glabrum is a perennial plant belonging to the family Polygonaceae. The genus Polygonum encompasses 150 species, of which 79 are known to occur in India (Hooker, 1885)15.

Polygonum hydropiper, or punctalum water pepper, smart weed, fifty three species of the genus of this is a biting, pungent diuretic, inflaming the tongue and skin, when applied to them. It is vermifuger, and highly stimulant. Infused in urine, it is much used gravel. It is said to cure ulcers in the mouth, toothache. The ashes makes a soap, which cutler says has been a specific for the cure of stone in the bladder. A tea of the plant is good in coughs &colds. Cattle will not touch the plant. Snake avoid it, and it kills fish. An infusion of it is a powerful promoter of urine

Pharmacological investigation
*  Muddathiret al., (1987)13 isolated a pure anthelmintic substance (PGA) from the leaf of Polygonum glabrum Willd.. PGA also showed molluscicidal activity against Biomphalaria glabrata andLimnea truncatula Mull.
*  Singh et.al. (1985)14 reported crude aqueous extract of Polygonum glabrum will produced hypotension and reduce respiration rate. These effects could not be modified by atropinisation whereas leaves extract has shown falling effect in B.P. and caused increase in the rate and volume of respiration.
*  Bhupinderet al., (1987)14 studies on an ethanol extract of the stem of Polygonum glabrum and reported a significant anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan-induced pedal edema in rats.

It was observed that Polygonum glabrum was relatively less potent than phenylbutazone in most acute models while it was usually more potent in the sub-acute or chronic models. This pattern was observed both after oral and i.p. administration although, dose for dose, Polygonum glabrum was less effective orally indicating  poorer bioavailability of the active principle due either to partial absorption or to a first pass metabolism by the liver.

Antidepressant activity:
Behavioral despair test:
In the initial experiment acute administration of PG extract did not reveal any antidepressant like effect in this test. Repeated oral administration of PG extract for three consecutive days reduced the immobility time in rats dose dependently. Imipramine also showed similar activity and the effect were comparable to that of higher dose of PG extract. Table 1 and figure 1.

Table 1:Effect of PG on behavioral despair test in rats

Treatment             

         

 

      Dose 

    (mg/kg)     

                  

Duration of immobility (sec)

D. water

10ml/kg

168.50±10.73

PG

50

123.33±06.78**

PG

100

121.83±08.87**

PG

200

108.17±07.13***

Imipramine

15

104.67±06.77***

Values are expressed as mean ± S.E.M.(n=6)
** P<0.01vs.Control.
***P<0.001vs.Control.

Tail suspension test in mice:
PG extract induced a significant and dose dependent decrease in immobility time in tail suspension test. This effect is regarded as indicative for antidepressant activity. Imipramine also showed significant antidepressant activity and the effect were comparable to that of PG. The results are shown in Table 2 and figure 2.

Table 2:Effect of PG on tail suspension test in mice

Treatment

      Dose (mg/kg)

Duration of immobility (sec)

D. water

10ml/kg

126.80±08.64

PG

50

109.60±06.69

PG

100

100.50±06.07*

PG

200

800.00±08.76**

Imipramine

15

93.30±05.12**

Values are expressed as mean ± S.E.M.(n=10)
* P<0.05vs.Control.
**P<0.01vs.Control.

FIGURES :

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION :

Total yield of Polygonum glabrum  extract= 1.935gms.

Rfor TLC = 60%

Rfor HPLC= 40%

DISCUSSION

Antidepressant activity
The results of present study clearly demonstrate significant antidepressant activity of extract of PG as assessed by the behavioraldespair , tail suspension tests  in rats and mice. Behavioral despair was proposed as a model to test for antidepressant activity (Porsolt et al.,1977,1978)48, 49.

It was suggested that mice or rats forced to swim in a restricted space from which they cannot escape, are induced to a characteristic behavior of immobility. This behavior reflects a state of despair which can reduced by several agents which are therapeutically effective in human depression (Vogel and Vogel, 1997)50. The “tail suspension test” has been described by Steruet al., (1985) as a facial means of evaluating potential antidepressants. The immobility displayed by rodents when subjected to an unavoidable and inescapable stress has been hypothesized to reflect behavioral despair which in turn may reflect depressive disorders in humans.

Clinically effective antidepressants reduce the immobility that mice display after active and unsuccessful attempts to escape when suspended by the tail (Vogel and Vogel, 1997)50. The extract at oral doses from 50 to 200mg/kg, for 3 days significantly decreased the duration of immobility in the tail suspension test and the forced swimming test in mice and rats respectively. The behavioral effect of PG at the dose of 200mg/kg was more potent than that of Imipramine by tail suspension test.

It has been pointed out that although the majority of world`s health care services use herbal medicines (Jonas, 1997)51, the wide acceptance and rational use of such botanical medicines is possible only when the active constituents and their modes of actions are known. Taken together, the results obtained lead us to conclude that PG appears to have a certain antidepressant activity in mouse and rats models. All of these characteristics provide promise for further studies and developments of Polygonum for new antidepressants.

CONCLUSION:
The present investigations, which were primarily conducted with the aim of investigating some neuropharmacological profile of activity of Polygonum gslabrum (PG), can be summarized as follows with relevant conclusions.
•         PG has got anxiolytic activity when tested against open field exploratory behavior, where as elevated plus maze did not show any positive results. The action produced by PG was more than that of diazepam in open field exploratory behavior.
•         Observations confirms that PG possesses significant antidepressant activity. The observed antidepressant activity of PG was qualitatively comparable to that induced by Imipramine.
•         Pentobarbitone induced hypnosis in mice was significant potentiated by PG.
•         PG at 100 and 200mg/kg, reduced locomotor activity in rats.
•         The PG seems to be little or no motor incoordination effect in mice when tested against rota-rod test.
•         PG had significant analgesic activity which is both centrally and peripherally mediated, when tested against various analgesic models in rodents.

The investigations indicates that PG has significant analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and anxiolytic actions, some of these actions, including antidepressant and anxiolytic can be rationalized on the basis of the neurochemical data emanating from this study . The present study indicate that PG can be clinically useful not only in inflammation, pain and fever, and worm infestation but also in depression and anxiety. Clinical studies are required to confirm the above mentioned activities.

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