Neuro beneficial effects of Pimpinella anisum against lead exposure

Khaled Kahloula, Miloud Slimani, Djallel Eddine Houari Adli, Sahra Rachdi, Dallel Boumediene


Background: The essential oil of Pimpinella anisum has been widely used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of diseases,
including some neurological disorders. Aims: This study was aimed to test, in vivo, the possible anxiolytic and antidepressant
effects, of the essential oil of Pimpinella anisum against chronic lead acetate (0.2%) intoxication during the gestation and lactation period, in Wistar rat pups. Settings and Design: Wistar rat pups were exposed to lead via their dams’ drinking water from postnatal day (PND) 1 to (PND) 21. After weaning, the lead‑exposed rats received injections of essential oil of Pimpinella anisum (0.5 ml/kg) for 15 days. The level of anxiety, depression and locomotor activity were studied. Materials and Methods: The behaviours evaluated were: Locomotor activity (open‑field test), anxiety (dark and light compartment and elevated plus maze tests), and depression (forced
swimming test). Statistical Analysis: The data were analysed by two‑way analyses of variance (ANOVAs). When a significant
difference was found, the Student‑Newman‑Keuls post‑hoc test was conducted. For all analyses, the difference was considered to
be significant at P ≤ 0.05. Results: The results of the present study demonstrate that developmental lead exposure induces, on the one hand, impairments of body (P < 0.001) and brain weight (P < 0.05), respectively, and on the other hand, increases the level of anxiety (P < 0.001), depression (P < 0.001) and locomotor hyperactivity (P < 0.001), compared to control rats. Administration of the essential oil of Pimpinella anisum entrains reduction in the level of anxiety (P < 0.001), depression (P < 0.001) and correct locomotor hyperactivity (P < 0.001) in rats exposed to lead beforehand. Conclusion: In conclusion, our results demonstrate that developmental lead exposure induces significant perturbation of emotional reactivity that can be improved by treatment with the essential oil of
Pimpinella anisum. Further evaluation of the use of anise oil in the treatment of neurological disorders is suggested.
Key words: Anxiety, depression, lead acetate, locomotor activity, Pimpinella anisum

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