The Effects of Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass) on Morphine Withdrawal Signs in Male Mice

Hamed Ahmadi Sheikh-Sarmast, Saeid Abbasi-Maleki *


Background and Aim: The antispasmodic, analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and sedative effects of Cymbopogon citratus (C. citratus) have been already examined in various studies. Hence, the present study was conducted to investigate the effect of C. citratus hydroalcoholic extract on morphine withdrawal signs in male mice.

Materials and Methods: Male NMRI mice (20-30g) were rendered dependent by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of morphine three times daily at doses of 50, 50 and 75 mg/kg, respectively, for 3 days. After the last administration of morphine on the fourth day, different doses of C. citratus extract (140,280 and 560 mg/kg, i.p.) and clonidine (0.3mg/kg, i.p.) were administered 30 min before the administration of naloxone (5 mg/kg, i.p.). The mice were observed for 30 minutes for the withdrawal signs, i.e., the characteristic jumping, grooming, teeth chattering, climbing, rearing, wet dog shakes, writing and diarrhea.

Results: The findings revealed that all doses of C. citratus (p<0.01, p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively) and clonidine (p<0.001) could reduce the number of jumps. Moreover, all doses of the extract reduced the grooming (p<0.05), climbing (p<0.05), diarrhea (p<0.01), and writhing behavior (p<0.05). Rearing and wet dog shakes were reduced only by the high dose of the extract (p<0.05).Clonidine decreased the other checked signs (except rearing and wet dog shake behaviors) such as grooming (P< 0.01), teeth chattering (P< 0.05), climbing (P<0.05), writing (P<0.01) and diarrhea (P<0.01).

Conclusion: The results indicated that C. citratus extract could attenuate morphine withdrawal signs. However, further studies are required to clarify its exact mechanism of action.


Cymbopogon citrates, Morphine dependence, Naloxone, Withdrawal signs

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