Earlier studies have demonstrated that Bacopa monniera (BM), a plant described in Ayurveda for many CNS actions was found to exhibit antidepressant (methanolic extract at 20mg/kg and 40mg/kg p.o.) as well as antinociceptive activity (aqueous extract (AE) at 80 mg/kg, 120 mg/kg and 160 mg/kg p.o.). The present study sought to explore the possible mechanisms of antinociceptive effects of aqueous extract of Bacopa monniera (AEBM) at 80 mg/kg, 120 mg/kg and 160 mg/kg given orally.
Materials and Methods:
AEBM was given singly as well as with selective α2 receptor blocker Yohimbine, selective β1 receptor blocker Atenolol, serotonin receptor antagonist Cyproheptadine and a non-selective opioid receptor antagonist naloxone in experimental groups of mice and rats under strict protocols and conditions.
We observed that the antinociceptive effects of AEBM in the acetic acid writhing test was prevented by prior treatment with the selective Yohimbine (1 mg/kg, i.p; 14.50 ± 2.26 and 37.17 ± 2.14 writhes in the AEBM-treated and yohimbine pre-treated AEBM groups, respectively) and selective β1 Atenolol receptor blocker (1 mg/kg, i.p; 14.50 ± 2.26 and 31.00 ± 5.44 writhes in the AEBM-treated and yohimbine pre-treated AEBM groups, respectively). In the formalin test, the reduction in licking time with AEBM was found to be reversed by prior treatment with serotonin receptor antagonist Cyproheptadine (1 mg/kg, i.p; 47.33 ± 2.25s and 113.50 ± 3.83s (during phase I i.e. 0-5 min) and 26.67 ± 3.83s and 88.17 ± 7.27s (during phase II i.e. 20-30 min) in the AEBM-treated and Cyproheptadine pre-treated AEBM groups, respectively). The % increase in tail flick latency with AEBM was prevented by prior treatment with the non-selective opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (2mg/kg, i.p; 282.35 and 107.35 in the AEBM-treated and naloxone-treated groups, respectively).
Our results indicate, that the endogenous adrenergic, serotonergic and opioidergic systems are involved in the analgesic mechanism of action of the aqueous extract of Bacopa monniera.
Keywords: Analgesic activity, Bacopa monniera, formalin test, tail immersion test, writhing test