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Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2005 Jun;96(6):469-74.

Attenuation of stress-elicited brain catecholamines, serotonin and plasma corticosterone levels by calcined gold preparations used in Indian system of medicine.

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1
Department of Medical Elementology and Toxicology, Faculty of Science, Jamia Hamdard (Hamdard University), New Delhi 110062, India. zashah01@louisville.edu

Abstract

Problems associated with mental health have increased tremendously in modern times. The search for effective and safe alternatives should, therefore, be pursued vigorously. Forced immobilization is one of the best explored models of stress in rats and the role of corticosterone, serotonin (5-HT) and catecholamines, i.e. norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine is well documented. We investigated the therapeutic potential of two gold preparations (Ayurvedic Swarna Bhasma and Unani Kushta Tila Kalan) in restraint induced stress at different time points of 1 hr, 2 hr and 4 hr. We pretreated rats with two gold preparations, Ayurvedic Swarna Bhasma and Unani Kushta Tila Kalan (25 mg/kg, orally for 10 days) prior to restraint stress. Brain catecholamine, serotonin and plasma corticosterone levels were determined following 1, 2 and 4 hr restraint stress, using HPLC and also plasma corticosterone using luminescence spectrophotometry. Gold preparations restored restraint stress-induced elevation in levels of brain catecholamines (norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopmine), 5-HT and plasma corticosterone to near normal levels. Gold, widely used in modern medicine for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is highly valued for various medicinal uses in Indian systems of medicine. Traditional gold preparations are attributed with tonic/rejuvenating and antioxidant properties. Our earlier studies revealed interesting analgesic, immunostimulant, adaptogenic and glycogen sparing properties in these preparations, but their effects in stress and depression have not been investigated yet. Significant restoration of altered values to near normal levels suggest potentials for gold preparations in stress and depression.

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