Effects of Boswellia Papyrifera Gum Extract on Learning and Memory in Mice and Rats

Document Type: Original Article


1 School of Pharmacy, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Pharmocoeconomy and Pharmaceutical Management, Shcool of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of otolaryngology, Amiralam Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Razi Herbal Medicines Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khoramabad, Iran


Learning is defined as the acquisition of information and skills, while subsequent retention of that information is called memory. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of aqueous extract of Boswellia papyrifera on learning and memory paradigms in mice and rats.
Materials and Methods
This study was held at the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kermanshah University of Medical Science, Kermanshah, Iran from September 2006 to March 2008. Male Wistar rats and male NMRI mice were randomly divided into control, B. papyrifera treated (50, 100, 150 mg/kg, p.o.), and piracetam (150 mg/kg) groups. Radial arm maze (RAM) and Morris water maze (MWM) were the screening tests used to assess the activity of B. papyrifera extract.
The mice treated with B. papyrifera (50, 100 and 150 mg/kg) or piracetam (150 mg/kg) showed a decrease in number of days required to learned (P< 0.05) and time taken to find food by the learned mice in radial arm maze (P< 0.01). In Morris water maze, rats treated with the above mentioned doses showed dose dependent improvement in spatial learning. Escape latency during swimming in water maze in piracetam and B. papyrifera treated animals was significantly lower (P< 0.01) than control. Swimming distance was also significantly lower (P< 0.05) in the treated groups.
The results show facilitation of spatial learning and memory processes and thereby validate B. papyrifera traditional use of intelligence improving. The presence of alkaloids, flavonoids and saponins might be responsible for this activity of B. papyrifera.


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