Effect of Shankhpushpi on Alcohol Addiction in Mice

Pharmacogn Mag. 2017 Jan;13(Suppl 1):S148-S153. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.203976. Epub 2017 Apr 7.


Alcohol addiction is a worldwide problem. It has mainly two components: dependence and withdrawal. Characteristic properties of most anti-addictive compounds include anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and nootropic actions. Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis. Convolvulaceae), known ethnopharmacologically as brain tonic, possess all the properties mentioned above. Here, we screen shankhpushpi for possible anti-addictive potential. Effect of shankhpushpi churna was measured on ethanol withdrawal anxiety using elevated plus maze. The role of shankhpushpi on chronic ethanol consumption (21 days) was measured using two bottle choice protocol of voluntary drinking. We also measured the effect of the above herb on cortico-hippocampal GABA levels. Shankhpushpi was found to reduce alcohol withdrawal anxiety in a dose-dependent manner. The herb also decreased ethanol intake and increased water intake significantly (P < 0.001) after 4 days of administration. Both these effects were blocked (P < 0.001) by GABAA antagonist suggesting the role of GABAA receptor. Chronic administration of shankhpushpi also significantly (P < 0.01) increased cortico-hippocampal GABA levels in mice. Shankhpushpi reduced both alcohol dependence and withdrawal in a GABAA-dependent manner, thus showing anti-addictive potential.

Summary: Shankhpushpi prevented ethanol withdrawal anxiety and alcohol addiction in a GABAA-dependent manner. Abbreviations used: GABA: Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus, CNS: Central Nervous System.

Keywords: Alcohol; Convolvulus pluricaulis; addiction; mice; shankhpushpi.