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A PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY ON UDESALEEB (PAEONIA EMODILlNN.): A UNANI ANTICONVULSANT DRUG
M. Ahmad, M. Tariq, S.H. Afaq and M. Asif
India

The present study was undertaken to evaluate the anti-convulsant and central nervous system depressant activity of aqueous and alcolholic extracts of Paeonia emodi Linn. Male albino rats weighing 100-150 gm were subjected to supramaximal electroshock & pentylenetetrazol induced convulsions. The pretreatment of rats with the aqueous and alcoholic extracts of Paeonia emodi Unn. in the dose of 1 gm/100 gm of body weight two hours before the chemically induced seizures showed 17% and 83% protection respectively. Both the aqueous and alcoholic extracts increased the flexion phase in supramaximal electroshock seizures whereas extension phase was reduced by aqueous extract and abolished by alcoholic extract. The results suggest that the alcoholic extract of Paeonia emodi Linn. is more poten anticonvulsant as compared to aqueous extract. The extract significantly decreased motor activity of rats suggesting central nervous system depression.

INTRODUCTION

Udesaleeb, a well known Arab drug, is the tuber of Paeonia emodi Linn.1.2 .It was reported as brain and nerve tonic by Avicenna 3, Lateef 4 and Hussain 5, as the remedy for epilepsy by Avicenna 3, Baitar 6, Antaki 7, Kazrooni 8 and Hussain 5, and as tranquillizer by Avicenna 3 and Hussain 5. However, no scientific data is available to supplement these ancient reports. Hence, the present study has been made to evaluate the anti-convulsant and central nervous system depressant activity of the aqueous and alcohol extract of Paeonia emodi Linn.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Male albino rats, weighing 100-150 gm, were subjected to supra-maximal electroshock and pentylenetetrazol induced seizures. Aqueous and alcoholic extracts in the dose of 1 gm/100 gm of body weight were administered orally, one, two and three hours before exposing the animals to electrical shocks (1 m. sec. duration, 100/sec, frequency, 140 V amplitude and for total duration of 0.3 sec. only) after the method of Toman et al 9. Duration of clinic and tonic phases of seizures were recorded. The phenobarbitone sodium in the dose of 6 mg/100 gm of body weight was used as the standard drug. Chemical induced convulsions were produced in rats by injecting pentylenetetrazol in the dose of 10 mg/kg of body weight subcutaneously after the method of Torrian et al. 10 The aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the drug were given two hours before the pentylenetetrazol injection. The number of animals showing seizures and death within two hours were recorded. The phenobarbitone sodium in the dose of 3 mg/100 gm of body weight was used as the standard drug. The study on the effect of aqueous extract in the dose of 500 mg/ 100 gm of body weight orally on motor activity (spontaneous movements and distance travelled by the animal) of rats was done using an activity cage after the method of Csanji et al 11 . The movements were recorded for 30 minutes one hour after the treatment with drugs. Chlorodiazipoxide in the dose of 2.5 mg/100 gm. of body weight orally was used as standard drug. Effect of aqueous and alcolholic extract in the dose of 1 gm/100 gm of body weight on body temperature was also studied. The rectal temperature of the rats was recorded at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes of the administration of extracts.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The effect of aqueous and alcoholic extract of Paeonia emodi Linn. In flexion and extension phases of electrically induced convulsions are shown in Table I. The results suggest that Paeonia emodi Linn. Significantly reduces the extension phase and increases the flexion phase of electrically induced seizures and the peak effect is seen after two hours of treatment with the drug. The phenobarbitone sodium also increases the flexion phase and reduces the extension phase of electrically induced conclusions. Similar pattern was observed in chemically induced shock where both the extracts of Paeonia emodi Linn.  reduce the incidence of convulsions and death as compared to the untreated group. The aqueous ; extract showed 17% protection from convulsions and 50% protection from death while the alcoholic extract showed 83 % protection from both seizure and death. The phenobarbitone sodium showed 83 % ! protection from convulsions and 100% protection from death. The alcoholic extract is more potent than f the aqueous extract in these studies. Our studies on motor activity showed significantly less activity in the rats. The spontaneous movements reduced from 266.38 +_ 26.83 (control group) to 118.75 +_ 20.11 (P -.01) and the distance travelled by the test drug treated animal in 30 minutes was reduced to 25.75 +_ 4.33 (P -.001) against the normal value of 68.63 +_ 6.02 feet in control group. The values in the standard group pre-treated with chlorodiazipoxide were spontaneous movements 138.25 +_   22.10 (P / .01) and distance travelled by the animal 43.25 +_  7.07 feet (P -.05). Both the aqueous and alcoholic extracts reduce the body temperature within two hours after the drug administration (Table II). These findings suggest that Paeonia emodi Linn. has both anticonvulsant and C.N.S. depressant activity. The results are qualitatively similar to those of phenobarbitone sodium. However, the crude extract is 100-300 times (dose to dose) less potent as compared to phenobarbitone sodium. A separate study was conducted to study the effect of Paeonia emodi Linn. On neurotransmitter levels in brain. However, we fail to get any consistent data on the effect of Paeonia emodi Linn. on noradrenaline, dopamine and 5-hydronythptamine levels in brain. Further studies are required to ascertain the mechanism of action of Paeonia emodi Linn.

TABLE - I


*P - 0.5, **P/0.01/0.001

Effect of aqueous and alcoholic extract of Paeonia emodi Linn. of flexion and extension phases of electrically induced convulsions in rats.

TABLE - II


*P / 0.5, ***P / .001,

Effect of aqueous and alcoholic extract of paenia emodi Linn.
on body temperature in rats.

NOTE: P is calculated in comparision to the temperature before              administration of the drug

SUMMARY

A shudy mn the anti-convulsant and C.N.S. depressant activity of aqueous and alcoholic extract of Paeonia emodi Linn. in rats reveals that both the extracts increase the flexion phase and significantly reduce the extension phase in electrically induced convulsions reduce the incidence of convulsions and death in chemically induced shock, reduce the body temperature and significantly reduce the motor potent than the aqueous extract. These findings suggest that Paeonia emodi Linn. has both anti-convulsant and C.N.S. depressant activity.