[ Pharmaceutical Sciences Asia - ONLINE ]
E-ISSN 2586-8470
[ Journal Abbreviation: Pharm.Sci.Asia ]
Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  FORMER NAME   "Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences" Published Since 1974


DOI: 10.29090/psa.2020.04.019.0042Pharm Sci Asia 2020; 47(4), 329-339

Amelioration of Motor Behavioral Aberrations and Cerebellar Abnormalities by Ethanol Leaf Extract of Balakat Tree (Ziziphus talanai (Blanco) Merr.) in Valproic Acid Mice Model of Autism

Aaron Carl Tejano1, Lourdes Fatima David1, Angelo Bañares1,2, Renato Dela Peña, Jr.3,4, Angelico Reyes1,5*

1 Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Institute of Arts and Sciences, Mabalacat City College, Mabalacat City, Pampanga, Philippines
2 Department of Energy Science and Technology, Energy and Environment Fusion Technology Center, Myongji University, Myongji-ro 116, Cheoin-gu, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
3 Chemistry and Life Sciences Department, Manila Tytana Colleges, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
4 Science Education Department, Br. Andrew Gonzalez College of Education, De La Salle University, Taft Ave. 2401, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
5 Biology Department, College of Science, De La Salle University, Taft Ave. 2401, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

Exposure of the brain to Valproic Acid (VPA), an anti-epileptic drug, during critical periods of postnatal brain development can lead to motor behavioral and neuroanatomical anomalies congruent with autism-spectrum disorders (ASD) in people diagnosed with autism. Loss of Purkinje cells (PC) in the cerebellum and retardation and regression in acquired motor behaviors are the main diagnostic features of autism pathophysiology. Since autism afflicts 4 in 10,000 children globally, there have been ongoing efforts to address autism by means of ameliorative agents such as bioactive compounds from plants. Preliminary phytochemical screening of the ethanol leaf extract of Ziziphus talanai (Balakat tree) revealed the presence of bioactive chemicals with neuroprotective potentials. This study employed 8 mice pups distributed into 4 groups that received the treatments on postnatal day (PND) 14-16: T- received no treatment; T+ receivedVPA at 400 mg/kg bw; T1 received 400 mg/kg bw of VPA and 300 mg/kg bw ethanol leaf extract of Z. talanai (ELEZT); and T2 received VPA at 400 mg/kg bw and 400 mg/kg bw ELEZT. T+ exhibited retardation in negative geotaxis maturation, regression of acquired skill for mid-air righting reflex, and density reduction in Purkinje cell layer. ELEZT administered at 300-400 mg/kg bw to T1 and T2 have resulted in comparable significant improvements in neurobehavioral retardation and regression and cytological structure of the PC cells in contrast with T+. These results suggest that the ELEZT possesses ameliorative potentials against behavioral aberrations and altered cerebellar histology in VPA-induced postnatal autism in murine models.


Ziziphus talanai (Blanco) Merr.; Ethanol leaf extract; Ameliorative agent; Autism; Valproic acid

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