Thymoquinone Inhibition of Acquisition and Expression of Alcohol-Induced Behavioral Sensitization.
Phytother Res. 2015 Jul 14. Epub 2015 Jul 14. PMID: 26171893
Muhammad Sona Khan
Repeated low doses of alcohol have been shown to progressively enhance locomotor activity in mice, and this phenomenon is designated as behavioral sensitization. Thymoquinone, a major active component of Nigella sativa oil has been investigated in a number of studies for its neuroprotective effects against a variety of ailments. This study was conducted to explore the therapeutic potential of thymoquinone on the acquisition and expression of alcohol-induced behavioral sensitization. Mice treated with alcohol (2.2 g/kg/day) or saline for 13 days and subsequently challenged with an acute alcohol dose (2.2 g/kg) 5 days later were orally administered acute doses of thymoquinone (10, 20 and 30 mg/kg). Thymoquinone subacute treatment with all doses throughout alcohol exposure significantly inhibited both the development and expression phases of alcohol behavioral sensitization in a dose-dependent manner. However, acute treatment with thymoquinone (30 mg/kg) only reversed the expression phase of sensitization. These findings are explained in terms of the known GABA promoting action of thymoquinone in relation to the motive circuit within the limbic component of the basal ganglia. It is concluded that thymoquinone may be a potential therapeutic option for the treatment and prevention of alcohol induced behavioral sensitization. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley&Sons, Ltd.