Hypnotic effect of ocimum Basilicum on pentobarbital-induced sleep in mice

Background: Sleep disorders are accompanied by several complications,and currently used soporific drugs can induce unwanted effects such as psychomotor impairment,tolerance,amnesia,and rebound insomnia.Objectives: The present study was carried out to investigate if Ocimum basilicum has a sleep-prolonging effect.Materials and Methods: This work was an experimental study on 72 mice which were randomly divided into 9 groups: saline (control);diazepam (3 mg/kg,positive control);hydro-alcoholic extract (HAE) of Ocimum basilicum (25,50,or 100 mg/kg);ethyl acetate fraction (EAF,50 mg/kg);n-butanol fraction (NBF,50 mg/kg);water fraction (WF,50 mg/kg);and saline containing 10% DMSO (vehicle for EAF and NBF).All the test compounds were injected intraperitoneally (IP) 30 minutes before pentobarbital administration (30 mg/kg).Duration and latency of pentobarbital-induced sleep were recorded.Also,LD50 of HAE was determined and the cytotoxicity of HAE was tested on neural and fibroblast cells using the MTT assay.Results: HAE increased the duration of pentobarbital-induced sleep at doses of 25,50,and 100 mg/kg (P < 0.001).The hypnotic effect of HAE was comparable to that induced by diazepam.Similarly,WF,EAF,and NBF at 50 mg/kg could increase sleep duration.The sleep latency was decreased by HAE (P < 0.01-P < 0.001) and NBF (P < 0.001),but not by WF and EAF.The LD50 value for HAE was found to be 2.4 g/kg.HAE had no effect on the viability of neuronal PC12 cells and L929 fibroblast cells.Conclusions: The present data demonstrated that Ocimum basilicum potentiates sleeping behaviors without any cytotoxicity.The main component (s) responsible for the hypnotic effects of this plant is most likely a non-polar agent (s) which is found in NBF.Isolation of the active constituents may yield a novel sedative drug.© 2016,Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal.

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