Euphorbia hirta reverses chronic stress-induced anxiety and mediates its action through the GABAA receptor benzodiazepine receptor-Cl - channel complex

Department of Pharmacology, Government College of Pharmacy, Bangalore, India.
Journal of Neural Transmission (Impact Factor: 2.4). 02/2008; 115(1):35-42. DOI: 10.1007/s00702-007-0821-6
Source: PubMed


Chronic stress is known to result in impairment of learning and memory and precipitate several affective disorders including depression and anxiety. Drugs of natural origin are known to possess several effects on the central nervous system and are emerging as promising alternative therapies. In this context, the hydroalcoholic extract of Euphorbia hirta (Eh) was evaluated for anxiolytic property in chronically stressed rats subjected to elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field test (OFT). Eh treatment (200 mg/kg, p.o.; seven days) showed marked anti-anxiety activity in chronic immobilization stress. In contrast, the forced swim stress-induced anxiety was only partially decreased by Eh. Co-treatment of rats with flumazenil (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), bicuculline (1 mg/kg, i.p.) or picrotoxin (1 mg/kg, i.p.) resulted in a significant reduction of anxiolytic effect of Eh indicating that its actions are mediated through GABA(A) receptor-benzodiazepine receptor-Cl(-) channel complex. Thus, our studies indicate that Eh is a potential anxiolytic drug, which might be beneficial in the treatment of stress-induced anxiety disorders.

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    • "Oxolinic acid, a first generation quinolone, has been shown to exert stimulant effects on mice, due to the properties that classify it as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor (21). This stimulant effect is consistent with the findings of induced stress reduction studies using Euphorbia hirta (22–24). A common interaction site, the γ-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor Cl− complex, has been identified (25,26). "
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    ABSTRACT: Euphorbia hirta is widely used in traditional remedies and has been used cross-culturally for generations against maladies such as asthma, skin ailments and hypertension. Previous studies have demonstrated that Euphorbia hirta has antibacterial activity, and have also indicated certain antimolluscidal, antimalarial and anti-inflammatory properties, the latter of which have been suggested to be more pronounced than those of the rheumatological drug, etanercept. To date, no studies have identified the anatomical effects of this herb on the organs of test animals. This study aimed to identify the effects of Euphorbia hirta on the ultrastructure of the murine liver, kidney and aorta. A total of 32 adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups; three groups were fed with aqueous extracts of Euphorbia hirta at doses of 1, 10 and 50 mg/kg, respectively, every alternate day for 50 days, while one group served as a control. The animals were later sacrificed and the liver, kidney and aorta harvested for examination by electron microscopy. The aorta showed no ultrastructural changes across the groups. Renal and hepatic tissue from the treated groups demonstrated dose-dependent injuries, which showed architectural damage beginning in the nuclei and spreading outwards. Taking into consideration the properties of Euphorbia hirta that have been described in previous studies, in addition to the results from the present study, it appears that the herb may exhibit similar effects to those of the quinolone group of antibiotics. Further in-depth investigations are required into the potential effects of Euphorbia hirta, deleterious and otherwise.
    Experimental and therapeutic medicine 11/2013; 6(5):1247-1250. DOI:10.3892/etm.2013.1295 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Animals in the sub-chronic groups, received daily treatments for seven days and were tested 24 h following the final dose. The B. virgilioides extract dose and the protocol treatment were based on preliminary studies (Thomazzi et al., 2010; Silva et al., 2010; Anuradha et al., 2008; Harsha & Anilakumar, 2013) with different extract doses administered to mice with some modifications. "
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    ABSTRACT: Current therapeutic for the treatment of anxiety is associated with a wild variety of side effects. The traditional use of plant extract to health care can indicate an important source of new pharmaceuticals. Bowdichia virgilioides Kunth, Fabaceae, is a plant commonly employed in the Brazilian folk medicine to treat infl ammatory conditions. Nevertheless, despite its popular use there are no studies related to its possible neuropharmacological effect. Here, we investigated the possible anxiolytic effect of the extract of B. virgilioides after acute and sub-chronic treatment in mice. The aqueous extract from the stem barks of B. virgilioides (20, 200 or 400 mg/kg) was orally administered, and its anxiolytic effect was evaluated in the elevated plus maze, open-fi eld and rota-rod tests. Diazepam was employed as standard drug. The aqueous extract treatment was effective in inducing anxiolytic effects with single acute treatment, a phenomenon that remained after chronic treatment. However, no changes in spontaneous locomotor activity or myorelaxant effect after aqueous extract treatment. The extract was either safe with no deaths in mice treated orally with 1000 mg/kg. These fi ndings suggest that the aqueous extract from the stem barks of Bowdichia virgilioides has an acute and sub-chronic anxiolytic-like effect without compromising motor activity, demonstrating an advantage regarding to antidepressant drugs.
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    • "Stress is increasingly being recognized as the precipitant of several psychiatric illnesses including anxiety and depression (McEwen, 2000). In earlier studies, rats subjected to chronic immobilization stress (CIS) or forced swim stress (FSS) showed anxiety in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the open eld test (OFT) (Anuradha et al., 2008; Govindarajan et al., "
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    ABSTRACT: Several drugs of herbal origin are known to possess anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. In a recent study, we showed that extracts from Euphorbia hirta L. (Euphorbiaceae) (Eh) demonstrated anxiolytic effects in rats subjected to chronic immobilization stress (CIS) but not in rats that underwent forced swim stress (FSS). Acetylcholine and the cholinergic system are known to be involved in anxiety. However, whether the cholinergic system is involved in the anxiolytic actions of Eh are not known. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of Eh treatment of rats subjected to either CIS or FSS on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, and septum. CIS increased the AChE activity in all three regions, while Eh treatment restored it to normal levels. FSS increased the AChE activity only in the septum, and Eh treatment marginally restored this to normal levels. Thus, these results indicate the involvement of the cholinergic system in the behavioral effects of Euphorbia hirta.
    Pharmaceutical Biology 05/2010; 48(5):499-503. DOI:10.3109/13880200903188534 · 1.24 Impact Factor
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