Abstract
ANTIPARKISONIAN ACTIVITIES OF THE ACTIVE COMPONENTS OF VERNONIA AMYGDALINA IN WISTAR RATS

Nwozor C. M.*, Ughachukwu P. O., Okonkwo P. O. and Ilo C. E.

ABSTRACT

V amygdalina (VA) is used by traditional medical practitioners as a digestive tonic, appetizer, and for the management of wounds. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by resting tremor, cogwheel rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural reflex changes due to lack of dopamine in the nigrostriatal area of the brain. This study was undertaken to investigate the antiparkinsonian activities of the active components of V. amygdalina in Wistar rats. 54 apparently healthy male Wistar rats weighing between 120-180 g were randomly distributed into nine groups of 6 rats per group. PD was induced in the experimental rats using paraquat (10 mg/kg intra-peritoneally weekly for three weeks. Neurobehavioral tests were assessed using hanging wire/arm grip test, pole test, and elevated-plus maze (EPM). Immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and α-synuclein was done using brain tissue. There was a decrease in the duration of the time spent on the pole test in the treatment groups compared with the control (p<0.05).V. amygdalina showed significant neuroprotective effect on tyrosine hydroxylase and α-synuclein levels. It equally had significant antioxidant properties. Methanol extract of V. amygdalina contains some important bioactive components. All the three fractions of this extract: ethyl acetate, n-hexane, and methanol fractions demonstrated significant neuroprotective effects. V. amygdalina may be useful in the management of PD.

Keywords: Vernonia amygdalina, Parkinson’s disease, Wistar rats, paraquat, neuroprotective effects.


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