A Comparative Study of Antidepressant Activity of Aqueous Extract of Berberis Aristata with Fluoxetine in Albino Rats
Introduction: Depression belongs to the heterogeneous group of mental disorders characterized by extreme exaggerations and disturbance of mood, which adversely affect cognition and psychomotor functions. It results from abnormal brain mechanisms functionally deficient monoaminergic (noradrenaline and/or 5-hydroxytryptamine) transmission in the central nervous system.
Aims and Objectives: To evaluate comparatively the Anti- depressant activity of Berberis aristata (Daru haridra) in albino rats after inducing experimental depression using different methods.
Materials and methods: The antidepressant activity of aqueous extract of berberis aristata was screened by tail suspension method and the forced swimming test and compared with the control and standard drug (fluoxetine) for two weeks. Group1- were kept as control. Group 2- were treated with fluoxetine in a dose of 14mg/kg/day as standard drug for one week. Group 3, 4 and 5- were given aqueous extract of berberis aristata intraperitoneally in three graded doses 400,800 and 1600mg/kg/day respectively for two weeks.
Results: berberis aristata exhibits antidepressant activity depicted by reduction in the immobility time when compared to the control group. The onset of action was after few days according to the dose of the test drugs following their administration. The effect is comparable with that of standard drug fluoxetine which may be attributed to the phytoconstituents like berberine, berbamine and palmitine, among them most probably with berberine alkaloid. The berberine alkaloid is known to inhibit the monoamine oxidase enzyme particularly monoamine oxidase- A isoform. berberine influenced either dopaminergic system by monoamine oxidase-B inhibiting property or by blocking the reuptake of dopamine by inhibiting its transporter.
Conclusion: Berberis aristata has significant antidepressant activity demonstrated by tail suspension and forced swimming test compared to the test drug.
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