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Effects of Mucuna pruriens on neuronal activity of central nervous system areas

Grant number: 17/05713-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2017
Effective date (End): September 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology
Principal Investigator:Isabel Cristina Céspedes
Grantee:Breno Néglia Armenini
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Several studies have shown that Ayurvedic medicine - Indian millennial medicine - is used in the treatment of different diseases or aspects related to health or well-being, and has several therapeutic effects. Mucuna pruriens (MP) is a legume from the Fabaceae family, grown in tropical regions and originating in India. Its main therapeutic components are L-Dopa, 5-hydroxy tryptamine (serotonin) and 5-methoxy-N, N, dimethyl tryptamine. Studies have shown some medicinal properties of this plant, and its use has been proposed especially in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). Preparations made with parts of the MP are used as an aphrodisiac supplement (currently marketed) and attention optimizer. In research, the neuroprotective properties were demonstrated in models for PD, hypoglycemic model for diabetes, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, androgenic, estrogenic, diuretic and as a protector against snakebite damage. Although MP is a precursor of dopamine (a natural source of L-dopa) and has proven antidepressant effect in an experimental model, it has not yet been described the effects of MP on the various neural circuits involved in behavioral and emotional responses, and in dopaminergic circuits of motor and limbic areas. It has also been shown that MP supplementation has reduced stress in humans, but despite this it is not known which areas of the stress circuitry are modulated by MP. All possible effects described above may be related to the therapeutic potential of MP, and in this sense this study aims to verify the effects of MP on the neuronal activation of specific areas of the Central Nervous System (CNS) of Wistar rats, through the administration of their extract at a concentration of 200mg / kg / day via gavage, in a protocol with duration of three weeks. Thus, eight animals (Group MP) will receive the extract, and concomitantly to this there will be a control group also with eight animals (Group CO) totaling sixteen animals in the study. Due to the fact that dopaminergic action related to motor circuits has been described in research for PD, the animals will pass the Open Field and Elevated Plus Maze tests to study the locomotor activity that also allow the analysis of pathological anxiety. For the analysis of MP effects on CNS areas, the immunohistochemical method for DeltaFosB protein, which demonstrates the levels of neuronal activation in response to chronic stimuli, will be used in areas related to the neurophysiological responses resulting from the treatment. (AU)

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