Purpose: To study the antiepileptic properties of extracts from rhizomes of Acorus tatarinowii Schott (ATS).
Methods: The decoction and volatile oil were extracted from rhizomes of ATS by traditional decocting and supercritical CO(2) fluid extraction (SFE-CO(2)) methods. Maximal electroshock (MES), pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) maximal seizure, and prolonged PTZ kindling models were used to test their anticonvulsive properties. The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunohistochemical reaction (IR) was used to study GABAergic neuron changes in the PTZ kindling model and the effects of treatment.
Results: Both decoction (dose; 10-20 g/kg) and volatile oil (1.25 g/kg) of ATS decreased the convulsive rate significantly in the MES model. Decoction of ATS was shown to be effective in the PTZ model with both decreased convulsive and mortality rates. The volatile oil of ATS failed to prevent seizures in the dose range tested, although prolonged seizure latency and decreased mortality were found at a dose of 1.25 g/kg. In the PTZ kindling model, GABA-IR neurons decreased obviously compared with the normal group. In the groups treated with the decoction and volatile oil, the seizure intensity decreased significantly after treatment. Increased GABA-IR neurons also were found when compared with PTZ kindling controls. Morphologic observation also showed that GABA-IR neuron damage was less severe in the drug-treated groups.
Conclusions: Both decoction and volatile oil extracted from the rhizome of Acorus tatarinowii Schott have anticonvulsive effects. The volatile oil is shown to be less effective for PTZ-induced convulsions. Both extracts can prevent convulsions as well as convulsion-related GABAergic neuron damage in the brain in the prolonged PTZ kindling model.