Aqueous stem bark extract of Stereospermum kunthianum (cham, sandrine petit) protects against generalized seizures in pentylenetetrazole and electro-convulsive models in rodents.
Stereospermum kunthianum, Cham Sandrine Petit (Bignoniaceae) known in English as pink jacaranda is used in traditional medicine to treat an array of ailments including febrile convulsions in infants and young children by the rural dwellers in Nigeria. This study examined the anticonvulsant activity of its aqueous stem bark extract (100 – 400mg/kg) against maximal electroshock and pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures in rodents. Phenobarbitone and ethosuximide were used as reference anticonvulsant drugs for comparison. Stereospermum kunthianum extract (200 – 400mg/kg, i.p.) remarkably protected (76.9% and 84.6 % respectively) the rats against electroshock-induced seizures. However, the extract (200- 400mg/kg) when administered orally showed a comparatively less effect (33.3% and 55.6% respectively) to the intraperitoneally administered extract in the maximal electroshock test. The extract (100-400mg/kg, i.p.) significantly delayed (p<0.05) the onset of pentylenetetrazole-induced clonic seizures but only slightly prolonged the time of death of the mice. Although the findings in the present study do not provide conclusive evidence, it appears that the aqueous stem bark extract of Stereospermum kunthianum produces its antiseizure effect by enhancing GABAergic neurotransmission and/or action in the brain. The results indicate that the aqueous extract possesses anticonvulsant activity in rodents and therefore tend to suggest that the shrub may be used as a natural supplementary remedy in the management, control and/or treatment of childhood convulsions. It can be concluded that the aqueous stem bark extract possesses anticonvulsant activity and therefore lend pharmacological credence to the traditionally claimed use in the treatment of childhood convulsions.
Key words: Stereospermum kunthianum, Anticonvulsant activity, maximal Electroshock, pentylenetetra-zole.