Emblica officinalis (Euphorbiaceae), commonly known as amla, is traditionally used for central nervous system (CNS) disorders.
In the present study, the effect of standardized hydroalcoholic extract of E. officinalis fruit (HAEEO), an Indian medicinal plant with potent antioxidant activity, was studied against kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures, cognitive deficits and on markers of oxidative stress.
Rats were administered KA (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and observed for behavioral changes, incidence, and latency of convulsions over 4 h. The rats were thereafter sacrificed for estimation of oxidative stress parameters: thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and glutathione (GSH). The proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) was also determined in the rat brain.
Pretreatment with HAEEO (500 and 700 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly (P < 0.001) increased the latency of seizures as compared with the vehicle-treated KA group. HAEEO significantly prevented the increase in TBARS levels and ameliorated the fall in GSH. Furthermore, HAEEO dose-dependently attenuated the KA-induced increase in the TNF-α level in the brain. HAEEO also significantly improved the cognitive deficit induced by KA, as evidenced by increased latency in passive avoidance task.
HAEEO at the dose of 700 mg/kg, i.p., was most effective in suppressing KA-induced seizures, cognitive decline, and oxidative stress in the brain. These neuroprotective effects may be due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of HAEEO.