Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications

Title

Postsynaptic Dopamine (D2)-mediated Behavioural Effects of High Acute Doses of Artemisinin in Rodents

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-30-2003

Journal Title

Brain Research Bulletin

ISSN

0361-9230

Volume

62

Issue

3

First Page

255

Last Page

260

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.09.016

PubMed ID

14698358

Abstract

Artemisinin or qinghaosu is the active principle of quinghao (Artemisia annua L.) developed from Chinese traditional medicine, which is now widely used around the world against falciparum malaria. Behavioural effects of high acute doses of artemisinin were studied on spontaneous motor activity (SMA), exploratory behavior, apomorphine-induced stereotype behavior and pentobarbital sleeping time in mice and rats in order to provide additional evidence on its safety profile on the central nervous system (CNS). Effects of the drug on bromocriptine-induced hyperactivity in short term reserpinised mice were also evaluated. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of artemisinin at doses of 50 and 100mg/kg, significantly (P<0.05) reduced the SMA in mice, prolonged the pentobarbital sleeping time in rats, and attenuated the apomorphine-induced stereotypy in mice. Mice pretreated with reserpine, showed a significant decrease in locomotor activity compared to the saline-treated group. Bromocriptine, a D2 receptor agonist, induced locomotor activity in mice pretreated with reserpine which was attenuated by artemisinin. The results suggest that artemisinin possesses sedative property, which may be mediated via postsynaptic dopamine (D2) receptor in the CNS.

Keywords

Artemisinin, apomorphine, bromocriptine, behavior, dopamine (D2) receptor, locomotor activity