Bacopa monnieri (BM) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a nootropic, anxiolytic, antiepileptic and antidepressant. An n-butanol extract of the plant (nBt-ext BM) was analysed and found to contain Bacoside A (Bacoside A3, Bacopaside II and Bacopasaponin C). The effects of the BM extract were then studied on morphine-induced hyperactivity as well as dopamine and serotonin turnover in the striatum since these parameters have a role in opioid sensitivity and dependence. Mice were pretreated with saline or nBt-ext BM (5, 10 and 15 mg/kg, orally), 60 min before morphine administration and locomotor activity was subsequently recorded. Immediately after testing, striatal tissues were analysed for dopamine (DA), serotonin (5HT) and their metabolites using HPLC coupled with electrochemical detection. The results indicated that nBt-ext BM significantly (p < 0.001) decreased locomotor activity in both the saline and morphine treated groups. Additionally, nBt-ext BM significantly lowered morphine-induced dopamine (DA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-H1AA) upsurges in the striatum but failed to affect DA, 5-HT and their metabolites in the saline treated group. These findings suggest that nBt-ext BM has an antidopaminergic/serotonergic effect and may have potential beneficial effects in the treatment of morphine dependence.
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.