Study Title:

Withania somnifera attenuates nicotine induced locomotor sensitization and withdrawl symptoms in mice.

Study Abstract

Objective: To investigate the effect of withania somnifera extract (WSE) on nicotine mediated reinforcement
effect and withdrawal symptoms which attributed for the addiction liabilities of nicotine. Methods: In Swiss
albino mice nicotine mediated locomotor sensitization and anxiogenic effects of chronic and acute nicotine
treatment respectively was tested per se or in combination with WSE. In addition, nicotine withdrawal induced
anxiety-like behavior was also studied. Locomotor sensitization was tested by employing open field test
(OFT), while symptoms of anxiety were evaluated by subjecting mice to elevated plus maze (EPM). Results:
Daily treatment with nicotine (subcutaneous) for 7 days showed gradual increase in the locomotor activity in
OFT as compared to saline group indicating the development of locomotor sensitization. Following 3 days of
drug free period, nicotine challenge on day 11 also showed rise in locomotor activity depicting expression of
sensitization. WSE pretreatment inhibited the nicotine induced development and expression of locomotor
sensitization. WSE+nicotine treated group showed decreased ambulations as compared to per se nicotine group
on day 1-7 and day 8 (P<0.05). In EPM, acute nicotine treated mice spend more time in open arms as
compared to saline indicating the anxiolytic behavior. WSE pretreatment reversed this anxiolytic effect.
Nicotine withdrawal mice showed significant increase in the number of entries in arm and total time spend in
closed arm indicating anxiety-like behavior. WSE treatment in nicotine withdrawal mice inhibited the nicotine
withdrawal induced increased number of entries and time spend in closed arms. Conclusion: These results
indicated that WSE may serve an effective herbal medicine in arresting nicotine mediated reinforcement and
withdrawal signs.

Study Information

J Phytopharm. 2018;7:180-4.

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