Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3797

Full Length Research Paper

Alterations in behavior and memory induced by the essential oil of Zingiber officinale Roscoe (ginger) in mice are cholinergic-dependent

Cícero Francisco Bezerra Felipe1*, Kamyla Sales Fonsêca1, André Luiz dos Reis Barbosa1, José Noberto Sousa Bezerra2, Manoel Andrade Neto2, Marta Maria de França Fonteles1 and Glauce Socorro de Barros Viana1    
1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil. 2Department of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil.    
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 July 2008
  •  Published: 31 July 2008


The objective of the work was to investigate the effects of the essential oil ofZingiber officinale Roscoe (EOG - 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p) on the behavior and cognition of male Swiss mice (25 - 30 g), treated daily for 7 days.  In the 7th day, animals were submitted to the elevated plus maze, open field and rota rod tests to evaluate anxiolytic, sedative and motor coordination effects, respectively. Memory tasks and cholinergic system effects of EOG were also assessed by the T-maze, passive avoidance, oxotremorine and pilocarpine-induced convulsions tests. EOG did not show anxiolytic effects in the elevated plus maze test, while it showed a sedative effect in the open field test at the doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg. EOG did not alter motor coordination of the animals, while it produced a cognitive impairment, in the passive avoidance test, in animals treated with the dose of 100 mg/kg. In the T-maze test, cognitive impairment was also evident and occurred in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, EOG (50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) blocked the oxotremorine-induced tremors and significantly increased the latency of pilocarpine-induced seizures, as well as animals survival. Altogether, our results suggest that EOG effects are, at least in part, dependent upon an antagonist action on the central muscarinic cholinergic system.     


Key words: Zingiber officinale Roscoe, memory, scopolamine, oxotremorine, pilocarpine.