International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases

: 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132--134

Effects of the petroleum ether extract of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius on experimentally induced convulsion in mice

Shankhajit De1, Yadu Nandan Dey2, Sudesh Gaidhani2, Sarada Ota2,  
1 Department of Pharmacology, Vinayaka Missons Sikkim College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vinayaka Missons Sikkim University, NH 31-A, Tadong, East Sikkim, India
2 Pharmacology section, Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and F.W., Govt. of India, Opp. 'D' Block, Janakpuri, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Yadu Nandan Dey
Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and F.W., Govt. of India, Opp. SQDSQ Block, Janakpuri, New Delhi 58


Aim: To study the anticonvulsant activity of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius. Materials and Methods: Petroleum ether extracts of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius at the dose of 200, 300, 400 mg/kg were used for the effects on the onset of convulsion in Isoniazid (INH) induced mice model. Diazepam at the dose of 4 mg/kg was used as the standard drug. Result: Petroleum ether extracts of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius showed dose-dependent activity regarding onset of convulsion. Conclusion: Hence from the above study it has been concluded that Amorphophallus paeoniifolius has anticonvulsant activity.

How to cite this article:
De S, Dey YN, Gaidhani S, Ota S. Effects of the petroleum ether extract of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius on experimentally induced convulsion in mice.Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis 2012;2:132-134

How to cite this URL:
De S, Dey YN, Gaidhani S, Ota S. Effects of the petroleum ether extract of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius on experimentally induced convulsion in mice. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Jan 18 ];2:132-134
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A neurological disorder encompasses a broad range of conditions that result in dysfunction of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. In this modern era, epilepsy is the most frequent neurodegenerative disease. [1] Epilepsy is among the disorders that are strongly associated with significant psychological and social consequences for everyday living. [2] Epilepsy is a major neurological disorder and up to 5% of the world population develops epilepsy in their lifetime. [3] The characteristic event in epilepsy is seizure which is associated with episodic high-frequency discharge of impulses by a group of neurons in the brain. There are mainly two types of epilepsies defining two major seizure categories, namely, partial and generalized. [4] Several plants are being used for the treatment of epilepsy in different systems of traditional medicine and have shown activity when tested in modern bioassays for the detection of anticonvulsant activity and many such plants are yet to be scientifically investigated. [5] Isoniazid is an antitubercular drug which acts by inhibiting mycolic acids. Convulsion is the most important dose dependant toxic effect of the various neurological disorders. [6]

During the past decade, the indigenous or traditional system of medicine has gained importance in the field of medicine. In most of the developing countries, a large number of people depend on traditional practitioners, who in turn are dependent on medicinal plants, to meet their primary healthcare needs. [7] There is an imperative need for novel therapeutic agents that can overcome the demerits of existing therapeutic modalities. Plants are an exemplary source of drugs. [8] Herbal medicine represents one of the most important fields of traditional medicine all over the world. Over the past 20 years, there has been an increased interest in the investigation of natural materials as sources of new antibacterial agents. Different extracts from traditional medicinal plants have been tested to identify the source of the therapeutic effects. [9],[10]

Dietary measures and traditional plant therapies as prescribed by Ayurvedic and other indigenous systems of medicine are used commonly in India. [11],[12] Amorphophallus paeoniifolius known as 'Elephant foot yam', is basically found in the South-east Asian region. This tuber is consumed by many people as a food and is widely used in many Ayurvedic preparations. They are traditionally used in arthralgia, elephantiasis, tumors, inflammations, hemorrhoids, hemorrhages, cough, bronchitis, asthma etc. [13] The petroleum ether extract of the tuber of the plant is reported to have central nervous system (CNS) depressant activity, [14],[15] The anticonvulsant activity of the tuber of the plant has not been studied yet. So, in the current study, the aim was to screen different extracts of the tuber of A. paeoniifolius for anticonvulsant activity.

 Materials and Methods

Preparation of the extracts of the tuber

The tubers of the plant were dried under shade and made into a fine powder using a laboratory mill and extracted successively with petroleum ether (Merck, India), chloroform (Merck, India), methanol (Merck, India) and water by using soxhlet extractor. The photochemical screening of the successive extracts was done.

Standard drugs

Isoniazid (S.D. Fine-Chem. LTD, Mumbai, India), Diazepam (Calmpose inj. Ranbaxy, India).


For the assessment of anticonvulsant activity male albino mice (25-30 g) were supplied by the animal house of Gupta College of Technological Sciences (GCTS), West Bengal, India. The animals were housed under standard environmental conditions (25°, 12 h light and 12 h dark cycle) and fed with standard diet (Tetragon chemie Private Limited, Bangalore, India), and water ad libitum. The Animal Ethics Committee of GCTS approved the experimental protocol.

Assessment of anticonvulsant activity of petroleum ether extracts in mice

The anticonvulsant activity was carried out according to the protocol performed by Madhu et al.[16] Animals were divided into five groups consisting of five animals in each and all the groups received their respective drugs suspended in 0.025% Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC).

Group I: Control animals received Isoniazid (INH) per oral at the dose of 300 mg/kg.

Group II: Animals received standard Diazepam intra-peritoneal at the dose of 4 mg/kg and 30 min later received INH per oral at the dose of 300 mg/kg.

Group III: Animals received petroleum ether extract intra-peritoneal at the dose of 200 mg/kg and 30 min later received INH per oral at the dose of 300 mg/kg.

Group IV: Animals received petroleum ether extract intra-peritoneal at the dose of 300 mg/kg and 30 min later received INH per oral at the dose of 300 mg/kg.

Group V: Animals received petroleum ether extract intra-peritoneal at the dose of 400 mg/kg and 30 min later received INH per oral at the dose of 300 mg/kg.

All groups were kept under observation and onset of convulsion was recorded.

Statistical analysis

Data obtained from pharmacological experiments was expressed as Mean ± SEM. Differences between the control and the treatment groups in these experiments were tested for significance using student t test. Values of P<0.05 were considered statistically significant.


Onset of convulsion

The onset of convulsion in the control group was less in respect of others. The group pretreated with standard diazepam had late onset of convulsion. In case of extract-treated groups the onset of convulsion increased dose-dependently. Petroleum ether extract of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius in doses of 200, 300, 400 mg/kg significantly increased the latency of onset of convulsions [Table 1].{Table 1}

 Discussion and Conclusion

Epilepsy imposes the biggest burden on healthcare systems. Epilepsy is a symptom of a variety of conditions and is the most common of chronic neurological disorders. Where patient's death may be due to epilepsy. [17] Imbalance between the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain is the main cause of seizure development in both, experimental and clinical conditions [18] INH-induced seizure resembles petitmal epilepsy. [19] Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the predominant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS which upon synaptic release, acts on its three specific receptors GABA A , GABA B and GABA C . GABA is inactive to succinic acid semialdehyde by the action of the mitochondrial enzyme GABA-transaminase. [20] The convulsant action of isoniazid, involves the disruption of GABAergic neurotransmission in the central nervous system. It has been reported that isoniazid inhibits glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). [21] Phytochemical studies revealed that petroleum ether extracts contain steroids, so, the anticonvulsant activity may be due to the presence of steroidal compounds in the extracts. One of these components might act by increasing the synthesis and release GABA which afford allosteric receptor facilitation or reduce inactivation. Therefore, we postulate that petroleum ether extract might have a definite impact on the GABA agric system.


We are grateful to Professor Debesh Chandra Majumdar, Chairman of Gupta College of Technological Sciences and Professor Kalyan Kumar Sen, Principal of Gupta College of Technological Sciences for their kind help and inspiration for doing this experiment.


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