Anticonvulsant Effect ofPersea americanaMill (Lauraceae) (Avocado) Leaf Aqueous Extract in Mice

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Abstract

Various morphological parts ofPersea americanaMill (Lauraceae) (avocado) are widely used in African traditional medicines for the treatment, management and/or control of a variety of human ailments, including childhood convulsions and epilepsy. This study examined the anticonvulsant effect of the plant's leaf aqueous extract (PAE, 50–800 mg/kg i.p.) against pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-, picrotoxin (PCT)- and bicuculline (BCL)- induced seizures in mice. Phenobarbitone and diazepam were used as reference anticonvulsant drugs for comparison. Like the reference anticonvulsant agents used,Persea americanaleaf aqueous extract (PAE, 100–800 mg/kg i.p.) significantly (p<0.05–0.001) delayed the onset of, and antagonized, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures. The plant's leaf extract (PAE, 100–800 mg/kg i.p.) also profoundly antagonized picrotoxin (PCT)-induced seizures, but only weakly antagonized bicuculline (BCL)-induced seizures. Although the data obtained in the present study do not provide conclusive evidence, it would appear that ‘avocado’ leaf aqueous extract (PAE) produces its anticonvulsant effect by enhancing GABAergic neurotransmission and/or action in the brain. The findings of this study indicate thatPersea americanaleaf aqueous extract possesses an anticonvulsant property, and thus lends pharmacological credence to the suggested ethnomedical uses of the plant in the management of childhood convulsions and epilepsy.

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