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Environ Toxicol. 2016 Dec;31(12):1955-1963. doi: 10.1002/tox.22196. Epub 2015 Oct 4.

Sesame indicum, a nutritional supplement, elicits antiamnesic effect via cholinergic pathway in scopolamine intoxicated mice.

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Centre for Toxicology and Developmental Research (CEFT), Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, 600 116, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Biotechnology, Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai, 600 116, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Maruthuvam, National Institute of Siddha, Chennai, 600 047, Tamil Nadu, India.
Tissue Engineering Group, National Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence in Research & Learning (NOCERAL), Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaya.



Present study was undertaken to evaluate the antiamnesic effect of Sesamum indicum (S. indicum) seeds (standardized for sesamin, a lignan, content) in scopolamine, a muscarinic antagonist intoxicated mice.


Male Swiss albino mice (18-22 g bw) were pretreated with methanolic extract of sesame seeds (MSSE) (100 and 200 mg/kg/day, p.o) for a period of 14 days. Scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) was injected on day 14, 45 ± 10 min after MSSE administration. Antiamnesic effect of MSSE was evaluated using step-down latency (SDL) on passive avoidance apparatus and transfer latency (TL) on an elevated plus maze. To unravel the mechanism of action, we examined the effects of MSSE on the genes such as acetyl cholinesterase (AChE), muscarinic receptor M1 subtype (mAChRM1 ), and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression within hippocampus of experimental mice. Further, its effects on bax and bcl-2 were also evaluated. Histopathological examination of hippocampal CA1 region was performed using cresyl violet staining.


MSSE treatment produced a significant and dose dependent increase in step down latency in passive avoidance test and decrease in transfer latency in elevated plus maze in scopolamine intoxicated injected mice. MSSE down-regulated AChE and mAChRM1 and up-regulated BDNF mRNA expression. Further, it significantly down-regulated the bax and caspase 3 and up-regulated bcl-2 expression in scopolamine intoxicated mice brains. Mice treated with MSSE showed increased neuronal counts in hippocampal CA1 region when compared with scopolamine-vehicle treated mice.


Sesame seeds have the ability to interact with cholinergic components involved in memory function/restoration and also an interesting candidate to be considered for future cognitive research. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 31: 1955-1963, 2016.


Sesamum indicum; acetyl choline esterase; latency; memory; scopolamine; step down; transfer latency

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