Anticonvulsant activity of Dorema ammoniacum gum: evidence for the involvement of benzodiazepines and opioid receptors

Manijeh Motevalian, Saeed Mehrzadi, Samira Ahadi, Asie Shojaii


This study investigated the anticonvulsant activity and possible mechanism of action of an aqueous solution of Dorema ammoniacum gum (DAG) which has been used traditionally in the treatment of convulsions.In this study, the anticonvulsant activity of DAG was examined using the pentylentetrazole (PTZ) model in mice. Thirty male albino mice were divided randomly and equally to 5 groups, and pretreated with normal saline, diazepam, or various doses of DAG (500, 700, and 1000 mg/kg, i.p.), prior to the injection of PTZ  (60 mg/kg, i.p.). The latency and duration of seizures were recorded 30 min after PTZ injection. Pretreatments with naloxone and flumazenil in different groups were studied to further clarify the mechanisms of the anticonvulsant action. Phytochemical screening and thin layer chromatography (TLC) fingerprinting of ammoniacum gum was also determined. DAG showed significant anticonvulsant activity at all doses used. The gum delayed both the onset and the duration of seizures induced by PTZ. Treatment with flumazenil before DAG (700 mg/kg) inhibited the effect of gum on seizure duration and latency to some extent and administration of naloxone before DAG also significantly inhibited changes in latency and duration of seizure produced by DAG. The percentage inhibition was greater with naloxone than with flumazenil. This study showed that DAG had significant anticonvulsant activity in PTZ-induced seizures, and GABAergic and opioid systems may be involved. More studies are needed to further investigate its detailed mechanism.


Dorema ammoniacum; Anticonvulsant; Flumazenil; Naloxane; Pentylentetrazole

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