Anaphe venata larva extract-induced purposeless chewing in rats: the role of cholinergic, GABAergic and opioid systems

  • KDS Bamitale
  • MA Akanmu
  • OE Ukponmwan


Seasonal ataxia was reported in humans following the consumption of Anaphe venata larva as protein supplement in diet and altered motor function in rodents when the extract was administered intraperitoneally. In this study we investigated the effect of the crude aqueous and Phosphate Buffer Saline (PBS) extracts of this larva on altered spontaneous rat behavior in a novel environment particularly chewing behaviour, with a view to determine the mechanism(s) involved in these behavioural alteration. Animals were randomly assigned into four groups (n = 6-12 per group) and graded doses of aqueous and PBS extracts (100-400 mg/kg) were administered dissolved in saline intraperitoneally (i.p.) to each animal in the experimental groups. The control group received an equivalent volume of saline. Behavioral scores were recorded for a period of 30 minutes after the administration of saline or extract. The role of various receptors in the extract induced chewing was evaluated using known receptor agonist/antagonists. Results revealed a significant increase in purposeless chewing (F (7, 95) = 7.85; p<0.05) by the aqueous extract compared to saline control at all dose levels, which was significantly attenuated by scopolamine (3 mg/kg, i.p) and thiamine (1 mg/kg, i.p) respectively (p<0.05); while flumazenil (2 mg/kg, i.p) and naloxone (2.5 mg/kg, i.p) did not alter the induced purposeless chewing behaviour. Also, administration of PBS induced a significant (F (7, 95) = 6.11; p<0.05) increase in chewing behaviour but only at 400 mg/kg dose level which was attenuated by scopolamine (3 mg/kg, i.p); while flumazenil (2 mg/kg, i.p), naloxone (2.5 mg/kg, i.p), and thiamine (1 mg/kg, i.p) potentiated purposeless chewing behaviour respectively. It may therefore be concluded from this study that Anaphe extract-induced purposeless chewing behaviour in rat is mediated via the activation of cholinergic neurotransmission which is modulated by GABAergic and opioid receptor systems.

Keywords: Anaphe, chewing, cholinergic, opioid, GABA, receptor, behaviour, rat

Nig. J. Physiol. Sci. 25(2010) 51 – 58

Author Biographies

KDS Bamitale
Department of Physiological Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
MA Akanmu

Department of Pharmacology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

OE Ukponmwan
Department of Physiological Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0794-859X