In silico techniques in drug discovery may rationalise and speed up the identification of lead molecules from nature. Drug discovery from medicinal plants has mostly been confined to indications in accordance with their ethnical use only. However, the availability of multiple phytoconstituents in medicinal plants suggests that these may be much more useful beyond their traditional uses and in the management of chronic diseases, along with their comorbidities. In this study, the computer programmes PASS and PharmaExpert were used to reveal the medicinal plants useful in the comprehensive management of epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders based on the pleiotropic effects predicted for their phytoconstituents. In silico analysis revealed that seven of 50 medicinal plants from traditional Indian medicine possessed the desired pleiotropic effect, i.e., anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and nootropic activities. The majority of phytoconstituents from Passiflora incarnata were concurrently predicted to have the desired pleiotropic effects. Therefore, P. incarnata was pharmacologically validated using the pentylenetetrazole kindling mouse model. Behavioural and neurochemical evaluations confirmed the ameliorative role of P. incarnata in epilepsy and the associated depression and memory deficit. The pharmacological findings from this study propose that PASS and PharmaExpert may serve as good tools for the optimisation of the selection of plants based on their phytoconstituents for the treatment of different ailments, even beyond their traditional use.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.