Centella asiatica treatment during postnatal period enhances learning and memory in mice

Physiol Behav. 2005 Nov 15;86(4):449-57. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2005.07.019. Epub 2005 Oct 6.


Present investigation was planned to evaluate the nootropic effect of Centella asiatica. Three months old male Swiss albino mice were injected orally with graded doses (200, 500, 700, 1000 mg/kg body weight) of C. asiatica aqueous extract for 15 days to select an effective dose for nootropic studies. Animals were tested in radial arm maze to assess the learning and memory performance. Based on these results, mice were treated orally with 200 mg/kg of C. asiatica for 15 days from day 15 to day 30 post partum (p.p.) and the nootropic effect was evaluated on the 31st day and 6 months p.p. The behavioral (open field, dark/bright arena, hole board and radial arm maze tests), biochemical (acetylcholine esterase activity) and histological studies (dendritic arborization) were carried out. Performance of juvenile and young adult mice was significantly improved in radial arm maze and hole board tests, but locomotor activity did not show any change compared to control. Treatment resulted in increased acetylcholine esterase activity in the hippocampus. Dendritic arborization of hippocampal CA3 neurons was also increased in terms of intersections and branching points, both at one month and 6 months. Results of the present investigation show that treatment during postnatal developmental stage with C. asiatica extract can influence the neuronal morphology and promote the higher brain function of juvenile and young adult mice.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Centella*
  • Dendrites / drug effects
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / growth & development
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects*
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Pregnancy


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Plant Preparations