Ficus exasperata Vahl (Moraceae) is a terrestrial afro-tropical tree used as an antiepileptic remedy in African traditional medicine. This study investigated the anticonvulsant effect of a hydroalcoholic leaf extract of F, exasperata against seizures induced by pentylenetetrazole, picrotoxin or maximal electroshock in mice. The extract (30-300 mg kg-1, p.o.) significantly delayed the onset and decreased the duration of pentylenetetrazole- and picrotoxin-induced convulsions. It also caused significant reduction in the duration of maximal electroshock-induced tonic hind limb extension of mice. In addition, at some anticonvulsant doses, the extract produced motor impairment on the rotarod. The present findings strongly indicate that the leaf extract of F, exasperata has anticonvulsant properties in mice and may explain its use as an antiepileptic agent in African traditional medicine.
- Maximal electroshock