Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences

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Effect of ethanolic extract of Carpolobia lutea G. Don (polygalaceae) root on learning and memory in CD1 mice

IO Ajiwhen, SA Bisong


Summary: Carpolobia lutea, commonly called cattle stick or poor man’s candle, is used by traditional herbalists in eastern Nigeria to treat ‘madness’. It has a reported analgesic and anti-nociceptive effect. The effect of its ethanolic root extract on learning and memory was investigated. Thirty mice were divided into three groups of ten each. One group of mice served as the control and was given normal saline (p.o.) while the other two groups were given acute low dose (1500mg/kg, p.o.) and high dose (2500mg/kg, p.o.) (LD50 3338.83mg/kg). The effect of the extract on cognitive memory was investigated using the Novel Object recognition task (NORT) while the effect on visuospatial learning and memory was studied using the Morris Water maze (MWM). The results obtained in the NORT show that the index of habituation was significantly lower following acute treatment with a low dose of C. lutea extract compared to control. However, the index of habituation did not differ following treatment with a high dose of C. lutea compared to control but it was higher compared to the low dose. Following treatment with a low dose of the extract, the index of discrimination was significantly higher compared to control. The index of discrimination in the high dose treatment group did not differ from control, but it was lower compared to the low dose treatment. This indicated that there was improved cognitive memory only in the low dose treatment group. In the MWM there was no significant difference in swim latency during Acquisition and Reversal training. There also was no significant difference in quadrant duration during probe trial. The swim latency during the visible platform test showed that all mice used had good visual acuity. Therefore, the ethanolic extract of C. lutea root enhanced cognitive memory. However it did not affect visuospatial learning and memory.

Keywords: Carpolobia lutea root, Cognitive Memory, Visuospatial memory, Mice

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