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New Plant Tranquilizers Developed
February 24, 2010 09:54

Atragene sp.

Russian scientists from the city of Tomsk currently work on an original nootropic tranquilizer, made from Atragene speciosa Weinm, a rare perennial vine. Main difference of this plant-based preparation from similar synthetic drugs is total lack of side effects.

Nootropic drugs have specific activating effects on integrative functions of brain. Plants of Atragene species were often used in folk medicine for curing cardio-vascular diseases, epilepsy, and as pain-relieving agent.

Russian scientists from Tomsk Science & Research Institute of Pharmacology (Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences) performed tests of this plant on laboratory animals and found out some of its physiological characteristics, as well as compared its activity with existing nootropic preparations, Nootropil, for instance. Studies showed that natural preparation had promising characteristics as a nootropic agent, moreover, it had no side effects, such as asthenia, hyperkinesia, nervousness, weight gain and depression. The problem is that this plant is extremely rare and grows in hard-to-reach places of the Urals, Altai, and Far East. Scientists offer a solution – growing cell cultures of Atragene speciosa Weinm in laboratory conditions or in vitro.


Researchers have succeeded in isolating and maintaining stable cell cultures of this valuable plant. Mentioned cultures are able to produce necessary physiologically active substances in specially optimized growth conditions. Cells cultures are known to synthesize much more target substances, than same plant in natural conditions.

Extract from suspension (liquid) culture of Atragene speciosa Weinm improved processes of higher nervous activity during intensive learning or after hypoxic traumas or experimental brain ischemia. Single injection of the extract in maximum concentration didn’t cause any changes in animal behavior, or animal death. After 30 everyday intragastric doses of the preparation, rats and rabbits showed no signs of pathological changes in any organs or systems of an organism.

Researchers keep working with this promising plants and pay attention to another type of cells – so-called “bearded roots”, which grow rapidly in nutrient medium. These cells are responsible for synthesis of all useful substances and can synthesize large amounts of nootropic preparation.

New preparation is partly patented (plant cultivation on a solid nutrient medium), and authors have submitted two invention claims. Some more tests should be performed – toxicity tests and curative effect tests, and this work is not the fastest one in the world. Moreover, Russian researchers are going to prepare several more patents and then will try to find an investing company, which can be interested in this development. Scientists hope that their innovative preparation, which has no bad effects on human health as various chemical preparations with same effect have, will help people to cope with growing stress of everyday life.

Source: Science & Technologies

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian Scientists     

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