The present study was performed to investigate the effects of Valeriana wallichi (VW) aqueous root extract on sleep-wake profile and level of brain monoamines on Sprague-Dawley rats. Electrodes and transmitters were implanted to record EEG and EMG in freely moving condition and the changes were recorded telemetrically after oral administration of VW in the doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight. Sleep latency was decreased and duration of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep was increased in a dose dependent manner. A significant decrease of sleep latency and duration of wakefulness were observed with VW at doses of 200 and 300 mg/kg. Duration of NREM sleep as well as duration of total sleep was increased significantly after treatment with VW at the doses of 200 and 300 mg/kg. VW also increased EEG slow wave activity during NREM sleep at the doses of 200 and 300 mg/kg. Level of norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), serotonin (5-HT) and hydroxy indole acetic acid (HIAA) were measured in frontal cortex and brain stem after VW treatment at the dose of 200mg/kg. NE and 5HT level were decreased significantly in both frontal cortex and brain stem. DA and HIAA level significantly decreased only in cortex. DOPAC level was not changed in any brain region studied. In conclusion it can be said that VW water extract has a sleep quality improving effect which may be dependent upon levels of monoamines in cortex and brainstem.
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