J Altern Complement Med. 1997 Winter; 3(4): 327-36.
Effect of Trasina, an ayurvedic herbal formulation, on experimental models of Alzheimer's disease and central cholinergic markers in rats.
Department of Pharmacology, Banaras Hindu University, Varnasi, India.
Trasina is a herbal formulation of some Indian medicinal plants classified in Ayurveda, the classic Indian system of medicine, as Medhyarasayanas or drugs reputed to improve memory and intellect. Earlier experimental and clinical investigations have indicated that the formulation has a memory-facilitating action. In this investigation, the effect of Trasina, after subchronic administration for 21 days, was assessed on two rodent models simulating some biochemical features known to be associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The models, in rats, included intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) administered colchicine (15 micrograms/rat) and lesioning of nucleus basalis magnocellularis (nbm) by ibotenic acid (10 micrograms/rat). Retention of an active avoidance response was used as the memory parameter. In addition, the effect of Trasina was evaluated on i.c.v. colchicine-induced depletion of acetylcholine (ACh) concentrations, reduction in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity, and decrease in muscarinic cholinergic receptor (MCR) binding in rat brain frontal cortex and hippocampus. The behavioral and biochemical investigations were done 7, 14, and 21 days after colchicine or ibotenic acid lesioning. Trasina (200 and 500 mg/kg) was administered orally (p.o.) once daily for 21 days, the first drug administration being given just prior to lesioning. Colchicine and ibotenic acid induced marked retention deficit of active avoidance learning that was attenuated in a dose-dependent manner by Trasina after 14 and 21 days of treatment. Frontal cortical and hippocampal ACh concentrations, ChAT activity and MCR binding was significantly reduced after colchicine treatment. Trasina (200 and 500 mg/kg) reversed these deficits after 14 and 21 days of treatment. The findings indicate that the herbal formulation exerts a significant nootropic effect after subchronic treatment that may be due to reversal of perturbed cholinergic function.