Neuroprotective Role of Withania somnifera Root Extract in Maneb–Paraquat Induced Mouse Model of Parkinsonism
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE Withania somnifera root extract (Ws)/Ashwagandha/Indian ginseng is a traditional herbal medicine, used over 4000 years in India, shown to have effect on neural growth and locomotor function. Although catecholamines and oxidative stress resulting in neurodegeneration and locomotor disorder are the main events in Parkinson's disease (PD), efficacy of the drug on these molecules and physiological abnormality are not clear. AIM OF THE STUDY The objective of the study was to examine effect of Ws on catecholamines and physiological abnormalities seen in PD using PD model mouse. MATERIALS AND METHODS Mouse were treated with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) for 4 days to show biochemical and physiological abnormalities similar to patients with PD. PD mice were treated with Ws 100mg/kg body weight for 7 or 28 days. Catecholamines: dopamine (DA), 3,4-dihydroxy-phenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA); antioxidants: glutathione (GSH) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx); and lipid peroxidation marker (TBARS) were analyzed in the Ws treated and untreated PD mouse striatum. RESULTS Mouse treated with MPTP showed reduced levels of DA, DOPAC, HVA, GSH and GPx and induced thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) level compared to the control. Physiological abnormalities were seen in the mouse as determined by hang test and rotarod test. Oral treatment of PD mouse Ws root extract (100mg/kg body weight) for 7 days or 28 days increased DA, DOPAC and HVA levels and normalized TBARS levels in the corpus striatum of the PD mouse. The 7 days Ws treated mice showed improved motor function as determined by hang test and rotarod test. Treatment with Ws for 28 days increased GSH and GPx levels in the striatum compared to the Ws untreated PD mouse striatum. CONCLUSION These data suggest that Ws is a potential drug in treating catecholamines, oxidative damage and physiological abnormalities seen in the PD mouse.