Depression is a cognitive disorder which is distinguished by various symptoms and changes in behavior, cognition activity, emotional disturbance and psychomotor effects1. According of world health organization in coming future it will be the leading cause of disability among individuals.
Depression is triggered by alteration and improper working of several brain related signals and neurons. Some neurotransmitters such as; adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin and nor-adrenaline in which nor-adrenaline and serotonin increase susceptibility in control of mood and emotional behavior2.
A number of synthetic drugs are used as anti-depressant prescribed for depression treatment3. But these drugs have many side effects such as; dry mouth, pupil dilation, constipation, temporary fatigue, restlessness and headache4. This accounts for exploration of safer and newer antidepressant drugs.
Using plants as alternate therapy is getting very common. In a previous research it was reported that soy beans have been traditionally used in depression due to presence of isoflavones having polyphenolic nature. So a natural compound genistein, a soy isoflavone, was proved as an antidepressant drug5. This led the scientists to look for other potential plants effective against depression.
Macrotyloma uniflorum (Horse Gram) has been used traditionally in various illnesses like fever, painful periods, increased bile secretion, in dysentery as astringent, vomiting, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, snake bite, cancer, depression and infertility6.
Seeds of horse gram contain many useful components like; flavonoids, phenols, tannins, carbohydrates, saponins, sterols, alkaloids and coumarins. So scientists conducted a study in which they phytochemically screened and evaluated the antidepressant activity of the ethanol extract of Macrotyloma uniflorum seeds.
Phyto-chemical screening was done with Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC) and High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC). Antidepressant activity was accessed by force swim test, tail suspension test and potentiating of nor-epinephrine toxicity. Antioxidants parameters like Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARs), Reduced Glutathione (GSH) and nitrite/nitrate level were also accessed in brain homogenate to check the oxidative defense.
The ethanol extract of Macrotyloma uniflorum (Horse Gram) showed the presence of isoflavones. i.e. daidzein and genistein. Mobility rate of model animals was also increased. The antioxidant activity was also increased.
It was established that ethanol extracts of horse gram possess antidepressant activity due to its antioxidant and tyrosine kinase inhibiting nature.
Written by: Rabeeia
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