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Nigella sativa Oil Ameliorates Chronic Ethanol Induced Anxiety and Impaired Spatial Memory by Modulating Noradrenaline Levels

Beenish Asrar1,2,3, Ikram Ullah Khan1, Judith R Homberg3 and Darakhshan Jabeen Haleem2

1Sulaiman Bin Abdullah Aba Al-Khail – Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Science (SA-CIRBS), International Islamic University, Sector H-10 Islamabad, Pakistan; 2Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine & Drug Research (PCMD), International Center for Chemical and Biological Science, (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan; 3Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Medical Center, Kapittelweg 29, 6525 EN Nijmegen, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author:;


Nigella sativa, one of the medicinal plants, is gaining global recognition.  The plant has been proven to reduce mental illness and improve behavior. For instance, Nigella sativa reduces anxiety, improves spatial memory and increases motor activities. Ethanol is a commonly available and widely used addictive substance. Chronic ethanol consumption negatively affects cognition, exerts anxiogenic effects. Ethanol administration may induce behavioral deficits by modulating noradrenaline level. Here we hypothesized that Nigella sativa can ameliorate some of the negative health effects of ethanol consumption. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effect of Nigella sativa oil on spatial learning and memory (Morris water maze test), anxiety (Elevated plus maze test) and noradrenaline levels in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus by HPLC-EC of male Wistar rats drinking water or ethanol. Results showed reduced anxiety, improved memory and increased prefrontal and hippocampal noradrenalin levels in ethanolic rats that were treated with Nigella sativa oil. Nigella sativa oil treated water drinking rats showed reduced noradrenaline levels in hippocampus. In conclusion, Nigella sativa oil supplementation can be beneficial to improve memory, reduce the anxiogenic effects of chronic ethanol consumption.

To Cite This Article: Asrar B, Khan IU, Homberg JR, and Haleem DJ, 2020. Nigella sativa oil ameliorates chronic ethanol induced anxiety and impaired spatial memory by modulating noradrenaline levels. Pak Vet J, 40(3): 350-354.   


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)