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Chin J Integr Med. 2012 Dec 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of amygdaloid neuronal dendritic arborization enhancing effect of Centella asiatica (Linn) fresh leaf extract in adult rats.

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Department of Anatomy, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, India,



Centella asiatica (CeA), a creeper, growing in moist places in India and other Asian countries. Leaves of CeA are used for memory enhancement in Ayurvedic system of medicine, an alternative system of medicine originated from India. In the present study, we have investigated the role of CeA fresh leaf extract treatment on adult rats on dendritic morphology of amygdaloid neurons, one of the regions concerned with learning and memory.


Adult rats (2.5-month old) were fed with 2, 4 and 6 mL/(day kg) of fresh leaf extract of CeA for 2, 4 and 6 weeks. After the treatment period the rats were killed, brains were removed and amygdaloid neurons were impregnated with silver nitrate (Golgi staining). Such silver impregnated amygdaloid neurons were traced using camera lucida and dendritic branching points (a measure of dendritic arborization) and intersections (a measure of dendritic length) were quantified. These data were compared with those of age matched control rats.


The results showed a significant increase in the dendritic length (intersections) and dendritic branching points in amygdaloid neurons of the rats treated with higher dose [6 mL/(day·kg)] of CeA for longer period of time (i.e. 6 weeks).


Constituents/active principles present CeA fresh leaf extract has neuronal dendritic growth stimulating property; hence it can be used for enhancing neuronal dendrites in stress and other neurodegenerative and memory disorders.


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