Background: Sleep disorders are among the most common psychiatric and medical conditions.
Herbal medicine appears to be effective in the treatment of sleep disorders which have been valued
by many of publications and patents.
Objective: The present study aimed at investigating the hypnotic activity of the hydro-alcoholic extract
of Capparis spinosa (HAE) in mice.
Methods: Three doses of HAE (30, 60 and 120 mg/kg) and three fractions of it, namely n-hexane fraction
(NHF), water fraction (WF), and ethyl acetate fraction (EAF), were given in comparison with diazepam
(3 mg/kg body weight i.p.) as a positive control and saline as a negative control. After 30 min,
pentobarbital (30 mg/kg body weight i.p.) was administered. In addition, LD50 of HAE was examined
and the cytotoxicity of HAE was assessed in l929 cells using the MTT assay. Moreover, for motorcoordination
ability, 30 mins after administration of HAE, the rotarod test was performed.
Results: The results exhibited that the HAE and all the fractions significantly augmented pentobarbital
induced sleeping time, which was comparable to that of induced by diazepam. The LD50 value
was 2.4 g/kg. The extract did not induce any cytotoxic effects in L929 fibroblast cells. HAE did not
affect the animals’ performance on the rotarod test.
Conclusion: Our finding suggests that the hydro-alcoholic extract of C. spinosa possesses a hypnotic
potential that may require further scientific investigations.