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J Neurol Sci. 2009 Sep 15;284(1-2):124-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2009.04.032. Epub 2009 May 13.

Down-regulation of cerebellar 5-HT(2C) receptors in pilocarpine-induced epilepsy in rats: therapeutic role of Bacopa monnieri extract.

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Molecular Neurobiology and Cell Biology Unit, Centre for Neuroscience, Department of Biotechnology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin-682 022, Kerala, India.


Epilepsy is a syndrome of episodic brain dysfunction characterized by recurrent unpredictable, spontaneous seizures. Cerebellar dysfunction is a recognized complication of temporal lobe epilepsy and it is associated with seizure generation, motor deficits and memory impairment. Serotonin is known to exert a modulatory action on cerebellar function through 5HT(2C) receptors. 5-HT(2C) receptors are novel targets for developing anti-convulsant drugs. In the present study, we investigated the changes in the 5-HT(2C) receptors binding and gene expression in the cerebellum of control, epileptic and Bacopa monnieri treated epileptic rats. There was a significant down regulation of the 5-HT content (p<0.001), 5-HT(2C) gene expression (p<0.001) and 5-HT(2C) receptor binding (p<0.001) with an increased affinity (p<0.001). Carbamazepine and B. monnieri treatments to epileptic rats reversed the down regulated 5-HT content (p<0.01), 5-HT(2C) receptor binding (p<0.001) and gene expression (p<0.01) to near control level. Also, the Rotarod test confirms the motor dysfunction and recovery by B. monnieri treatment. These data suggest the neuroprotective role of B. monnieri through the upregulation of 5-HT(2C) receptor in epileptic rats. This has clinical significance in the management of epilepsy.

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