Neurobehavioural Effects of the Leaves of Nymphaea Lotus (Water Lily) in Cd-1 Mice
Aduema W*1, Akunneh-Wariso C2and Amah AK3
Department of Medical Physiology, Gregory University, Nigeria
2Department of Human Physiology, Abia State University, Nigeria
3Department of Human Physiology, Imo State University, Nigeria
Submission: March 01, 2018; Published: March 27, 2018
*Corresponding author: Aduema W, Department of Medical Physiology, Gregory University, Nigeria, Tel:8038046678;
How to cite this article: Aduema W, Akunneh W C, Amah A. Neurobehavioural Effects of the Leaves of Nymphaea Lotus (Water Lily) in Cd-1 Mice.
Anatomy Physiol Biochem Int J: 2018; 4(4): 555647. DOI: 10.19080/APBIJ.2018.04.555647.
The anxiolytic effect of the leaves of water lily was investigated using mice as experimental animals. Thirty (30) were mice randomly divided into group 1, 2 and 3. Before the neurobehavioral parameters were assessed, the LD50 and the phytochemical screening of the leaves of the plant were determined. The open field maze and the transition box apparatus were used to determine the level of fear and anxiety related behaviors in mice. In the open field arena, the grooming frequency was statistically not different when compared to control. Stretch attend posture frequency (SAP) was statistically higher in the test groups when compared to control (P<0.001). It was also observed that the frequency of defecation decreased in the treated groups when compared to the control group (P<0.01). The light duration box and frequency of transition were statistically higher (P<0.001) compared to control. Thus, the leaves of the plant tend to reduce the level anxiety in mice.
Keywords: Nymphaea Lotus; Anxiety; Open field maze; Light/dark box; Mice
Nymphaea Lotus, commonly known as water lily, belongs to the family nymphaeaceae. The flowers are white, sometimes with a tinge of pink . The plant is native to the Nile and is grown in various parts of East Africa and Southeast Asia .The plant has different names depending on the tribes, for instance the Igbo call it ‘Ijikara’, Yoruba call it ‘Iyeye’ while the Hausa call it ‘Bado’ . It is commonly seen in freshwater ecosystem where it is scattered and seen floating on top of water bodies . It is among the earliest aquatic macrophytes that have been identified in Nigerian freshwaters . It is used in traditional medicine system as an aphrodisiac, anodyne, astringent, cardiotonic, sedative, demulcent, analgesic and as anti-inflammatory agent . The plant is known to contain a lot of chemical compound. It has calming and sedative effect on the nervous system, therefore it can be used in the treatment and management of insomnia and anxiety disorders . Disorders of anxiety are neurological syndromes which are common among humans. However, modern synthesized drugs for these disorders are costly and not always readily available for people in the rural areas. Therefore it is important to carry out this study in order to provide solution to this problem using plant which will be more affordable with
fewer side effects; hence, this study will go a long way in solving this problem (Figure 1).
Thirty (30) Swiss white mice having a body weight between 20-25grams were used in this research work. The animals were kept in the animal house of the Department of Physiology,
Ututru, Abia State, Nigeria. The animals were kept in a hygienic
and well ventilated environment and maintained under
standard environmental conditions. Animals were fed with
normal rat chow and allowed water ad libitum for 21days for
acclimatization of the animals.
Thirty (30) Swiss mice were randomly divided into three
groups 1, 2, and 3 of 9 mice per group. Group 1 was the control;
groups 2 and 3 were for the treated groups respectively. Animals
in group 1 received normal rat chow; group 2 animals received
20mg/kg and group 3, received 40mg/kg of the plant extract
daily for a period of 30 days.
a. Open field test: Each mice was scooped up with a
plastic container and then placed in the open field arena and
allowed to explore the apparatus for 5 minutes and certain
behaviors scores were taken into consideration, which are,
stretch attend posture, center square entry, defecation and
grooming, etc (Figure 2).
b. Light/dark transition box:
i. Each mouse was picked by the base of its tail and placed
in the centre of the white compartment facing the door to the
dark compartment and allowed to explore the apparatus for five
ii. The mice behaviors were scored within the period
and the maze was cleaned with alcohol between tests and then
allowed to dry (Figure 3).
Behaviors scored included: Transition, light box duration,
dark box duration, stretch attends posture, grooming, rearing
which included urination and defecation.
The light chamber duration which refers to the time spent in
the light compartment of the light/dark transition box was higher
for the low and high dose treated groups (p<0.001) compared
to control. However, the frequency of stretch attend posture for the test groups showed lower SAP l when compared to control
(P<0.001). The frequency of grooming showed similar trend.
The frequency of defecation for the treated groups were lower
(P<0.001) when compared to control. The results also showed
that the frequency of transition for the low and high dose groups
were statistically higher (P<0.01) compared to control. However,
the high dose group showed a significantly higher transition
frequency (P<0.001) compared to control (Figures 4-8).
The results of our exploration showed that in the open
field arena, Stretch attend posture which is a risk assessment
behavior were rodents demonstrate forward movement of the
head and shoulder which is then followed by withdrawal of
its head backwards to its initial position . It is a behavior
exhibited by rodents introduced in a new milieu and it is used as
a parameter to assess the level of anxiety in rodents. The low and
high dose treated mice showed a significantly lower frequency
of stretch attend posture when compared to the control. This
indicates decrease in the level of anxiety. The results showed that
the grooming frequency did not differ among the experimental
groups. However, the number of fecal bole of the Nymphaea
Lotus fed mice was statistically lower as when compared to the
control, Hall .
Similarly, the frequencies of grooming, defecation and stretch
attend posture in the lower and high dose treated group were
significantly different when compared to control in the light/
dark transition box experiment. This shows a decrease in the
level of anxiety. The light/dark transition box test indicates that
the test groups administered with the extract significant spent a
longer time in the light compartment of the light/dark transition
box than the untreated mice. This indicates that the treated
animals did not mind the presence of light and their exposure to
their surrounding, showing decreased anxiety and fear in the N.
lotus treated mice . The amydala is the part of the brain that
controls the level of anxiety and fear . Electrical stimulation
of this area is associated with the feeling of fear and terror .
Therefore, it is likely that some unknown chemical compounds
in the leaves of this plant could be responsible for the anxiolytic
property exhibited by Nymphaea Lotus thus reducing the
excitability of the amydala thereby increasing the threshold
by which the nuclei containing this cell respond which in turn
decreases the level of anxiety and fear in the experimental
Our findings showed that the leaves of N. lotus tend to
reduce fear and anxiety level in mice. Therefore, the Medicinal
potentials of Nymphaea Lotus can be used by Pharmaceutical
industries in producing drug for the treatment and management
of anxiety disorders.