Neuroprotective Effect of Withania somnifera (WS) in Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion and Long-Term Hypoperfusion Induced Alterations in Rats


  • Banaras Hindu University, Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Varanasi, 221005, India
  • CCRAS, Central Research Institute (Ayurveda), Kolkata, 700091, India
  • Banaras Hindu University, Department of Biophysics, Institute of Medical Sciences, Varanasi, 221005, India


Objective: The present study investigates the effect of Withania somnifera (WS), a well known adaptogenic agent in Indian system of Medicine, on acute cerebral reperfusion and long-term cerebral hypoperfusion in rats. Materials and methods: Acute ischemia-reperfusion (30 min occlusion of bilateral common carotid arteries followed by 45 min reperfusion) and Long-term cerebral hypoperfusion (for 15 days) in C.F. strain rats were produced following standard technique. WS, Indian chemotype-1, rich in withanolide glycosides (= sitoindosides) was used for the present study. Effect of WS on lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, cyclic AMP level and histopathological changes in forebrain regions in acute ischemia - reperfusion and on long-term cerebral hypoperfusion induced behavioral and histopathological alterations were evaluated. Results: WS pre-treatment (50 mg/kg p.o. for 5 days) attenuated the reperfusion induced biochemical and histopathological alterations. Long term hypoperfusion induced anxiety and listlessness (open field paradigm) accompanied by deficits in learning and memory (Morris' water maze testing) along with histopathological changes in rat forebrains were attenuated with WS treatment. Conclusion: The results suggest that WS may be useful in cerebrovascular insufficiency conditions.


Withania somnifera, Reperfusion Injury, Cerebral Hypoperfusion, Oxidative Stress, Behavior, Cognition.

Subject Discipline

Pharmacy and Pharmacology

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