Alterations in the sensitivity of 5(th) receptor subtypes following chronic asvagandha treatment in rats

Anc Sci Life. 1998 Jan;17(3):169-81.


Asvagandha (Withania somnifera) is an important antistress drug has now been sown to have an antidepressant action in clinically depressive patients, However, the mechanism of its antidepressant action has not been studied. Normal rats fed with asvagandha root extract (100mg/kg orally) for 4 and 8 weeks showed enhanced open field behavior and emotional stability along with a moderate but significant enhancement in the functional sensitivity of 5 HT2 receptors in the brain and a reciprocal subsensitivity of the 5HT1A receptors chronic asvagandha treatment (propylactically) was effective in preventing the behavioral deficit in open field activity in an animal model of depression. This was accompanied by an adaptive supersensitivity of the postsynaptic 5HT2 receptors in the brain. The effect of chronic Asvagandha on 5HT receptor subtypes is similar to the action of chronic ECT treatment and several antidepressant drugs.