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Jha Monu Kumar Bhagwan* and M. H. S. Godinho


The effect of dried fruits of Tribulus terrestris Linn on CNS of rats was investigated using the Elevated Plus Maze (EPM), Despair Swim Test, Rotarod, Autotrack and Hot Plate Analgesiometer, for antianxiety activity, anti-depressant activity, muscle relaxation, spontaneous behaviour and analgesic activity respectively. Additionaly the restraint stress model was used to confirm anti- anxiety activity. Aqueous extract (AETT) at a dose of 200mg/kg and methanolic extract (METT) at doses of 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg b.w. were administered to the rats by oral route for a period of seven days. However, rats which were subjected to despair swim test were administered extracts at 3 different intervals in a 24 hour-study. The control used was 2% Tween 80 prepared in distilled water. Diazepam (2 mg/kg), Pentazocine (5 mg/kg) and Fluoxetine (4.15 mg/kg) were used as standard drugs for the various activities. The animals were subjected to the above mentioned tests and the observations were recorded at different time intervals on the first, fourth and seventh day. The screening of anti-anxiety activity using restraint test was carried out for a period of six days and the observations were recorded on all six days. The results were statistically analyzed using one way ANOVA by Dunnett‘s test. All three test Groups showed a significant increase in %OAE (Percentage Open Arm Entries) and %TSOA(Percentage Time Spent on Open Arm) in the EPM test thus indicating antianxiety activity and maximum activity was noted for AETT at a dose of 200mg/kg. None of the extracts showed any significant change for immobility, swimming and climbing for the Despair swim test indicating absence of anti-depressant activity. Results of rotarod demonstrated absence of muscle relaxant activity. Of the two test extracts, the METT showed significance with regards to increase in Distance Travelled (DT) and Ambulatory Time (AT) in Auto-track system with the METT at 400 mg/kg having demonstrated higher activity. None of the Groups showed a statistically significant increase in the reaction time on the Hot plate analgesiometer. As AETT (200mg/kg) showed the highest anti-anxiety activity using EPM, it was selected for the restraint stress model test. The results obtained were significant when compared with the control, implying that the AETT at 200mg/kg has anti-anxiety activity.

Keywords: Tribulus terrestris, Elevated Plus Maze (EPM), restraint stress, Autotrack, anti-anxiety activity, spontaneous behaviour.

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