Leaves of Hippophae rhamnoides prevent taste aversion in gamma-irradiated rats

J Diet Suppl. 2011 Dec;8(4):355-68. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2011.621929.


Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea buckthorn), a traditionally known plant for nutritional and therapeutic values, is under active investigation for radioprotective properties. This study investigated effects of aqueous leaf extract from H. rhamnoides on (60)Co-γ-radiation induced changes in behavior, oxidative stress and serotonin levels in jejunum and plasma of rats. Conditioned taste aversion (CTA) was chosen as the assay to record behavioral changes and was assessed in terms of saccharine preference ratio (SPR). Whole body (60)Co-γ-irradiation (2 Gy) induced significant nonrecoverable CTA (25.6 ± 3.6% SPR, t(6) = 3.499, p < .05) and loss in body weight (b.w.). One time treatment with leaf extract before irradiation, countered radiation induced CTA and loss in body weight. The 12 mg/kg b.w. concentration of leaf extract caused complete extinction of CTA [100.3 ± 6.4% SPR, t(6) = 5.879, p < .01] after day 3 and the effect was significantly higher than positive control, Ondansetrone (70.0 ± 8.9% SPR). Treatment with leaf extract before irradiation significantly countered radiation induced (1) decrease in antioxidant protection, (2) increase in levels of corticosterone (CS) in plasma, (3) increase in levels of serotonin in jejunum and plasma. Present investigation demonstrated that H. rhamnoides leaf extract prevented behavioral changes induced at clinical radiation doses. Hippophae leaves are nontoxic and are being consumed as tea and other beverages. CTA in rats is a considered parallel process to nausea and vomiting in human beings. These findings, put together, suggest that dietary supplements from Hippophae leaves could be developed for preventing behavioral changes in subjects exposed to radiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiemetics / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Behavior, Animal / radiation effects
  • Conditioning, Classical / drug effects
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Food Preferences
  • Gamma Rays
  • Hippophae*
  • Humans
  • Jejunum / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nausea
  • Ondansetron / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Leaves
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Saccharin
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Taste / drug effects*
  • Taste / radiation effects
  • Vomiting


  • Antiemetics
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Serotonin
  • Ondansetron
  • Saccharin
  • Corticosterone