Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 2013, 4, 1-9 ABB Published Online November 2013 (
Synergistic effect of Mucuna pruriens and
Withania somnifera in a paraquat induced
Parkinsonian mouse model*
Jay Prakash1, Satyndra Kumar Yadav1, Shikha Chouhan1, S atya Prakash 2, Surya Pratap Singh1#
1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
2Biomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine,
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Received 2 August 2013; revised 2 September 2013; accepted 21 September 2013
Copyright © 2013 Jay Prakash et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative dis-
order characterized by the development of rigidity,
resting tremors and postural instability. Recently, the
focus of PD’s treatment has shifted towards herbal
medicines. Mucuna pruriens (Mp) and Withania som-
nifera (Ws) are traditional herbal medicines known to
have neuro-protective effects due to the L-DOPA pre-
sent in Mp seed powder and withanoloides present in
Ws root extract. Here, the synergistic effect of Mp
and Ws in Parkinsonian mice induced by chronic
exposure to paraquat was evaluated. Co-treatment
with Mp and Ws for 9 weeks, significantly decreased
the elevated nitrite levels and lipid peroxidation
found in Parkinsonian mice. In behavioural tests, Mp
and Ws treated mice showed a significant decrease in
the time taken to cross a narrow beam, an increase in
the time of stay on drum in rotarod test and an im-
provement in the hanging time. Furthermore, it was
found that the use of Mp and Ws considerably im-
proved the tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the
substantianigra region of the brain. The results sug-
gest that Mp and Ws may provide a platform for fu-
ture drug discoveries and novel treatment strategies
for PD.
Keywords: Withinia somnifera; Mucuna pruriens;
Oxidative Stress; Tyrosine Hydroxylase; Parkinson’s
Disease; Substantia nigra; Motor Dysfunctions
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common
neurodegenerative disease ranking next to Alzheimer’s
disease [1]. The loss of dopaminergic neurons in the Sub-
stantia nigra (SN) pars compacta results in the reduction
of the level of dopamine in this region [2]. In modern
medicine, Levodopa (L-dopa) is used as a dopamine sup-
plement and provides effective treatment against the
symptoms of PD [3]. Despite its wide usage, long term
administration of L-dopa leads to motor complications
called L-dopa induced dyskinesia (LIDS) [4]. Thus, the
use of L-dopa as a therapy for PD is now being chal-
lenged due to its side effects and extensive research has
been opened up for developing new and potent drugs for
treating PD.
Recently, many epidemiological studies have vali-
dated the relationship between PD and environmental
factors such as farming [5], drinking water from wells [6],
agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides [7].
Notably, there are a number of pesticides including para-
quat (PQ), rotenone and maneb (MB) that can be used to
create animal models of PD and to study its mechanism
and therapeutic interventions [8-10]. Despite the wide
usage of these models, they have limitations to being
perfect PD models [11]. As suggested by various studies,
the PQ and MB induced PD model is considered to be
the best due to the slow progression of the disease [12].
In addition, the generation of free radicals, mitochondrial
dysfunctions, microglial activation, increased lipid per-
oxidation and nitric oxide levels are well documented in
PQ + MB intoxicated mice [13].
*The study was supported financially by Department of Science and
Technology (100/(IFD)/1130/2012-2013 SR/CSI/38/2011 (G) DST P-
07-520) New Delhi, India.
#Corresponding author.
Mucuna pruriens Linn. (Mp) (Fabaceae), commonly
known as Kapikacho or Kevach in Hindi, is used as a
therapeutic drug in Ayurveda, the traditional medical
J. Prakash et al. / Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 4 (2013) 1-9
system of India [14]. It is a climbing legume native to
southern China and eastern India [15]. The seed, root and
stem of Mp possess valuable medicinal properties [16]. It
has been reported to contain analgesic, anti-neoplastic
anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anti-microbial and learn-
ing and memory enhancing properties [17,18]. Further,
some studies, including those conducted in the present
laboratory, have demonstrated Mp’s potent neuroprotec-
tive properties in PQ-induced Parkinsonian mice [15].
Interestingly, Mp seed extract contains L-DOPA, the
dopamine precursor that is used as a therapeutic agent
against PD [15,16]. Although the antioxidative properties
of Mp are well reported, the exact mechanism of Mp’s
antioxidative action remains unknown [19].
Withania somnifera (Ws) is regarded as the wonder
shrub of Ayurveda, commonly found on the Indian sub-
continent [20]. It is an important indigenous medicinal
plant used for the treatment of many diseases including
stress, insomnia, anxiety, arthritis and other disorders
related to the central nervous system (CNS) such as PD
and Alzheimer’s disease [21]. Further, it has a signifi-
cant role in the prevention and management of drug ad-
diction [22,23]. Using a MPTP-induced PD mouse model,
Ws was shown to have antioxidant and free radical scav-
enging potential [24]. Further, using a PQ model of PD
in mice, our laboratory demonstrated the neuroprotective
role of Ws [23].
The objective of the present work is to elucidate the
synergistic neuroprotective effects of Ws root extract and
Mp seed extract in PQ induced Parkinsonian mice. In the
present study, the efficacy of Ws root extract and Mp
seed extract in providing protection to dopamirnergic
neurons against neurodegenaration caused by oxidative
stress in the SN was examined. The neuro-protective
activity of Mp and Ws was evaluated through the ex-
pression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the SN of PD
mice and also the observation of improvements in motor
coordination with narrow beam, hanging and rotarod
2.1. Medicinal Plants and Preparation of
Mp seed powder and Ws root powder were purchased
from the Ayurveda Pharmacy, Institute of Medical Sci-
ence, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. To prepare
the ethanolic extract of the powdered material, 600 g of
each were soaked separately in 1000 mL of ethanol over-
night. The extracts were refluxed using a soxhlet appa-
ratus and concentrated under reduced pressure. Finally
the extracts were stored at 4˚C and suspended in 0.7%
carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC, S. D fine chemicals,
India) for in vivo assays.
2.2. Animal Treatment
Male Swiss albino mice weighing 25 ± 5 g were used in
all experiments. Swiss albino mice were obtained from
the animal house of the Institute of Medical Science,
BHU, Varanasi, India. The study was approved by the
Institutional Ethics Committee for use of laboratory ani-
mals and all the experimental procedures were performed
under the national guidelines on the proper care and use
of animals in laboratory research. Animals were main-
tained under standard conditions of temperature (22˚C ±
5˚C), humidity (45% - 55%) and light (12:12 h light:
dark cycle). The animals were fed with a standard pellet
diet and water ad libitum [25].
Animals were randomly divided into three experimen-
tal groups (n = 6) as follows:
Group I: Control mice. Mice were administered in-
traperitoneal (i.p.) injections of saline (0.9%) per day.
Group II: Parkinsonian mice. Mice were administered
i.p. injections of PQ (10 mg/kg body wt.) twice weekly
for 9 weeks.
Group III: Treated Mice. In addition to the treatment
given to Group II, animals were orally administered al-
coholic seed extract of Mp (100 mg/kg) daily.
Group IV: Treated mice. In addition to PQ, animals
were orally administered alcoholic root extract of Ws
(100 mg/kg) daily.
Group V: Treated mice. In addition to PQ, animals
were orally administered alcoholic seed extract of Mp
(50 mg/kg) [26] and alcoholic root extract of Ws (48 mg/
kg) [27] daily.
PQ was obtained from Sigma Aldrich (St. Louis, Mo,
USA). All the above treatments were carried out for 9
weeks to check disease development and the effect on its
treatment. At the end of the experiment, behavioural
studies were performed to understand motor skill abnor-
2.3. Neurobehavioral Parameters
2.3.1. Ha ngi ng Test
The hanging test was performed as previously described
by Mohanasundari et al. [28]. Briefly, mice were placed
on a horizontal grid and inverted upside down. The mice
were allowed to hang by gripping the grid and the time it
took for the mice to fall (hanging time) was recorded for
all the treatment groups separately.
2.3.2. Narrow Be am W alki ng Test
The narrow beam walking test was performed as previ-
ously described by Pisa [29]. In brief, a narrow flat beam
was placed at a height of 100 cm from the floor and mice
were trained to walk on it. Following training, the mice
were tested by recording the time it took to cross the
beam. This measure is used to assess the motor coordina-
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J. Prakash et al. / Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 4 (2013) 1-9 3
tion of the experimental groups.
2.3.3. Rot ar od Test
The rotarod test was performed to measure the muscular
coordination skills of mice. In this test, the beam re-
volves around its longitudinal axis and the mice walk or
run forward in synchrony. Mice were trained for 3 con-
secutive days before the day of final treatment at a fixed
speed for 5 minutes. Mice adjust their posture in re-
sponse to a moving speed of 5 rpm and the time it took
for the mice to fall from the rotarod was recorded. An
average of four experimental readings was calculated for
each animal [30].
2.4. Biochemical Parameters
2.4.1. Lipid Peroxidation
Lipid peroxidation in the nigrostraital tissue of the mouse
brain was estimated according to the method described
previously [31] with slight modifications. Briefly, in or-
der to measure the concentration of malondialdehye
(MDA) an assay mixture containing 10% tissue homo-
genate (0.1 mL) was mixed with 10% SDS solution (0.1
mL) and incubated for 5 minutes at room temperature
followed by the addition of 20% acetic acid (0.6 mL) and
further incubation for 2 - 5 minutes. Finally 0.8% Thio-
barbituric acid TBA (0.6 mL) was added and the reaction
mixture was incubated in a boiling water bath for 1 hr.
The assay mixture was cooled, centrifuged and absorb-
ance of the supernatant was read at 532 nm against con-
trol. LPO levels are expressed as nano moles MDA/mg
2.4.2. Nitrite Estimation
Nitrite was estimated in the tissue homogenate super-
natant as previously described by [32]. Briefly, super-
natant of 10% w/v tissue homogenate was incubated with
ammonium chloride (0.7 mM) followed by addition of
Griess reagent (0.1% N-naphthylethylenediamine and
1% sulfanilamide in 2.5% phosphoricacid). The reaction
mixture was incubated for 30 minutes at 37˚C and the
absorbance was measured at 540 nm. The nitrite content
was calculated using a standard curve for sodium nitrite
(10 - 100 μM) in units of μmoles/ml.
Following behavioural and biochemical tests further
experiments were conducted only with control, PQ and,
Mp + Ws and PQ co-treated groups.
2.4.3. Immunoreactivity
Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of tyrosine hy-
droxylase (TH)-positive cells in dopaminergic (DAergic)
neurons was performed in mice brain sections of control
and treated groups using a standard procedure [33]. Bri-
efly, perfused mouse brains were post-fixed with para-
formaldehyde and cryoprotected in sucrose. Following
this, the brain was cut into 20 μm sections using a
cryostat. Sections were washed with PBS and incubated
in blocking buffer 1 (0.5% H2O2 in methanol and PBS)
for 15 minutes, to block endogenous peroxidase activity,
followed by incubation in Blocking Buffer 2 (2% normal
goat serum, in PBS) for 2 hr and washed again. The sec-
tions were then incubated with a primary monoclonal
anti-TH antibody (dilution 1:1000, Santa Cruz, USA) at
4˚C for 48 hr and washed again. The sections were incu-
bated with a biotinylated secondary antibody (Merck,
dilution 1:500) for 2 hr and subsequently treated with a
streptavidin peroxidase complex for 30 min. The colour
was developed with 3, 3 diaminobenzidine and the sec-
tions were permanently mounted with dextrenepthylate
xylene (DPX) after dehydration in graded ethanol, as
described previously [34]. The mounted sections were
examined under bright field microscopy (Nikon, Japan
Tokyo, bright field microscope) and images were cap-
tured at 10× magnification. Counting of TH-positive
cells was done using a standard procedure as described
previously by [35].
2.4.4. Western Blotting
Western blot analysis was done as described previously
[36]. Briefly, a 10% w/v tissue homogenate was made in
lysis buffer (20 mM Tris-HCl, pH 7.4, 2 mM EDTA, 2
mM EGTA, 1 mM PMSF, 30 mM NaF, 30 mM sodium
pyrophosphate, 0.1 % SDS, 1% Triton X-100 and pro-
tease inhibitor cocktail). Protein content was measured
using a standard Bradford Assay [37]. The proteins (80 -
90 g) were separated on a 12% SDS-PAGE and elec-
troblotted onto a PVDF membrane. The membrane was
incubated with mouse monoclonal antibodies for TH or
β-actin (Santa crutz, USA; dilution 1:500) in Tris-buff-
ered saline (TBS, pH 7.4) containing 5% non-fat dry
milk, overnight at 4˚C. The blot was washed three times
with TBS containing 0.2% Tween-20 to remove unbound
antibodies. The blot was further incubated with goat anti-
mouse IgG peroxidase conjugate (1:2000 dilution) for 2
hr at room temperature. The blot was washed three times
with TBS and developed with TMB/H2O2 western blot
kits (Bangalore Genei, India). Finally, the developed blots
were subjected to densitometric analysis using β-actin as
an internal control.
2.5. Statistical Analysis
Statistical analysis of the data was performed using one-
way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using Graph Pad
Instat software. Data were expressed as mean ± standard
error mean (SEM) for separate groups. The significance
of the data was evaluated by using Tukey’s post hoc
analyses and differences were considered statistically
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J. Prakash et al. / Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 4 (2013) 1-9
significant, when p values were less than 0.05 (p < 0.05).
3.1. Effect of Mp + Ws on Behavioural
Parameters in PD Mice
Hanging time measures motor function in mice. Com-
pared to controls, the hanging time of PQ treated mice
was significantly reduced. Co-administration of Mp +
Ws seed extract to the PD mice significantly improved
motor function compared to Mp and Ws alone, as the
hanging time was extended to the level of controls (Fig-
ure 1).
Additionally, the number of narrow beam walking er-
rors was increased in the PQ treated mice as compared
to controls. Treatment with Mp + Ws decreased the
number of walking errors compared to the PD mouse
model. This improvement was found to be significantly
better compared to individual treatment of Mp and Ws
(Figure 2).
In rotarod test, animals walk on a rotating drum and
their performance is measured by the duration in seconds
that the animal remains on the rotating drum. The motor
coordination in Parkinsonian mice was greatly compro-
mised, but it was protected significantly by the pretreat-
ment with Mp + Ws which was better than Mp and Ws
alone (Figure 3).
3.2. Effect of Mp + Ws on Lipid Peroxidation
and Nitrite Levels
To investigate the extent of lipid peroxidation occurring
in the nigrostriatal region of brain of PQ treated mice,
the level of MDA was examined. Compared to controls,
MDA levels were significantly elevated in the PD mod-
elled mice. Co-treatment of PD mice with Mp + Ws sig-
nificantly reduced the elevated levels of MDA which
was found to be better than Mp and Ws alone (Figure 4).
Figure 1. Effect of Mp + Ws on hanging time against PQ in-
duced PD phenotype in mouse. Data is expressed in term of
mean ± SEM (n = 6), significant changes are given as *p <
0.05), and ***p < 0.001 as compared to control, #p < 0.05, ##p
< 0.01) and ###p < 0.001 compared to PQ treated group.
Figure 2. Effect of Mp + Ws on narrow beam walking test
against PQ induced PD phenotype in mouse. Data is expressed
in term of mean ± SEM (n = 6), significant changes are given
as *p < 0.05 and ***p < 0.001 as compared to control, ##p < 0.01
and ###p < 0.001 as compared with PQ treated group.
Figure 3. Effect of Mp + Ws on rotarod test against PQ in-
duced PD phenotype in mouse. Data is expressed in term of
mean ± SEM (n = 6), significant changes are given as ***p <
0.001 as compared to control, ##p < 0.01 and ###p < 0.001 as
compared with PQ treated group.
Similarly, the administration of PQ increased nitrite
levels in the nigrostriatum region of PD mice, compared
to controls. Treatment of PQ afflicted mice with Mp +
Ws significantly reduced the elevated levels of nitrites
and was found to be significantly better than Mp and Ws
alone (Figure 5).
3.3. TH-Immunohistochemistry
IHC analysis of TH-positive DAergic neurons in frozen
brain sections was conducted to evaluate the effect of Mp
+ Ws on PQ treated mice. PQ treatment led to a signifi-
cant decline in the TH positive neurons, whereas co-
treatment of mice with Mp + Ws led to a significant in-
crease in TH-positive DAergic neurons in the SN region,
which was comparable to controls (Figures 6(a) and (b)).
The improvement in the Mp + Ws treated group was
expressed in terms of number of TH positive cells in the
SN region.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
J. Prakash et al. / Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 4 (2013) 1-9 5
Figure 4. Effect of Mp + Ws on MDA levels on the PQ in-
duced PD phenotype in mice. Data is expressed in terms of
mean ± SEM (n = 6), significant changes are given as *p < 0.05,
**p < 0.01 and ***p < 0.001 compared to control, ##p < 0.01 and
###p < 0.001 compared with PQ treated group.
Figure 5. Effect of Mp + Ws on nitrite levels on the PQ in-
duced PD phenotype in mice. Data is expressed in terms of
mean ± SEM (n = 6), significant changes are given as **p <
0.01 and ***p < 0.001 compared with control and ##p < 0.01 and
###p < 0.001 compared with PQ treated group.
3.4. Western Blotting
The effect of Mp + Ws on TH expression in the SN re-
gion of mice was validated by western blotting. TH ex-
pression was reduced in PQ treated mice and was sig-
nificantly recovered after treatment with Mp + Ws. The
determined TH level was evaluated through Image J
software and integrated density related to β-actin was
calculated (Figures 7(a) and (b)).
The present study aims to reveal the synergistic effect of
two important medicinal plants in Ayurveda medicine,
namely Mucunae pruriens (Mp) and Withania somnifera
(Ws). This study shows that the coordinated treatment of
Mp together with Ws improves many of the symptoms of
PD in a paraquat (PQ) induced model of PD mice.
Figure 6. Effect of Mp + Ws on TH immunoreactivity in the
SN region of mice brain following exposure to PQ. (a) Repre-
sentative TH immunoreactivity in frozen brain sections of con-
trol and treated animals; (b) Number of TH positive neurons in
SN region of control and treated groups. Data is expressed in
terms of mean ± SEM (n = 6). Significant changes are indicated
by ***p < 0.001 compared with control, ##p < 0.01 compared to
PQ treated group.
Pesticides have been implicated as one of the major
risk factors for PD [38]. Using different animal models,
it has been demonstrated that exposure to pesticides dur-
ing development could produce progressive, permanent
and cumulative neurotoxicity of the nigrostriatal system,
which enhances vulnerability to subsequent environ-
mental insults [39].
PQ is a well-known pesticide that is used in experi-
mental mice models to develop a slow and progressive
neurodegenerative disorder that emulates the symptoms
of PD [38,40]. PQ selectively damages the dopaminer-
gicnigrostriatal system, resulting in the loss of dopa-
minergic neurons in the Substantia nigra (SN). This loss
can also be accompanied by a decrease in dopamine lev-
els in the SN [41]. PQ selectively and synergistically
targets the nigrostriatal system leading to a significant
reduction in motor activity, degeneration of dopaminer-
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J. Prakash et al. / Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 4 (2013) 1-9
Figure 7. Effect of Mp + Ws on expression levels of TH in the
SN region of mice brains following exposure to PQ. (a) Repre-
sentative western blot analysis; (b) Determined TH level is
expressed as the integrated density as related to β-actin. Data is
expressed in terms of mean ± SEM (n = 6). Significant changes
are indicated by ***p < 0.001 compared with control and ##p <
0.01 compared to PQ treated group.
gic neurons, neuronal toxicity, increase in oxidative
stress and lipid peroxidation [12,40,42]. As the regenera-
tive capacity of neurons is very low, the brain is believed
to be highly susceptible to the damaging effects of reac-
tive oxygen species (ROS) [43].
Oxidative stress is considered to be one of the key fac-
tors in the pathogenesis of PD [44]. PQ itself is an oxi-
dant as it forms a PQ radical that transfers its extra elec-
tron to an oxygen molecule generating a superoxide an-
ion [45]. Such a superoxide anion gets converted to hy-
drogen peroxide that subsequently turns into either a
harmful hydroxyl radical or is directly detoxified by an-
tioxidant enzymes [46]. Hydroxyl radicals along with
other free radicals react with polyunsaturated fatty acids
to yield lipid hydro-peroxides. These products initiate the
lipid radical chain reaction leading to oxidative damage.
Malondialdehyde (MDA), a product of lipid peroxidation,
is used as a marker of oxidative damage [23]. After
treatment of mice with PQ, the MDA level was signifi-
cantly increased compared to controls. However, MDA
levels were significantly ameliorated when mice received
Mp + Ws co-treatment. Moreover, it was found that the
combined treatment of Mp + Ws showed a significant
effect compared to Mp and Ws alone.
In addition, the present study demonstrates that expo-
sure to PQ increases nitrite content in the nigrostriatal
region, which is in accordance to earlier studies [13]. The
co-exposure to Mp + Ws amends the level of nitrite in
PQ treated mice. The decline in nitrite content by Mp +
Ws might be attributed to the antioxidant property of
these plant extracts [15,47]. These results are in harmony
with other reports of herbal drug mediated neuroprotec-
tion [23,48].
In addition to oxidative stress, PQ selectively damages
the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system, resulting in the
loss of dopaminergic neurons in the SN [41]. The results
obtained in the present study also suggest selective
dopaminergic neuronal loss following exposure to PD-
inducing neurotoxins, which is in harmony with previous
studies [49,50]. The functionality of dopaminergic neu-
rons can be measured by the presence of tyrosine hy-
droxylase (TH), an enzyme that converts dopamine’s
precursor, L-Dopa, into dopamine itself. In the present
study, TH-immunoreactivity was significantly reduced in
PQ treated mice. These results were validated by western
blotting, which showed a similar pattern of reduction in
TH content. Both techniques also demonstrated that PD
mice co-treated with Mp + Ws had a significantly in-
creased level of TH-positive neurons compared to the PQ
treated PD mice. This increase is probably due to the
combined antioxidant action of Ws [51] and L-dopa
content of Mp [52].
A battery of behavioural tests was conducted to assess
the motor functionality of the PD modelled mice. These
tests (narrow beam walking, hanging and rotarod tests),
demonstrated impaired motor functioning in PQ treated
mice, similar to PD patients. It was observed that PD
modelled mice treated with Mp + Ws had improved
hanging time, and reduced time to cross the narrow beam.
In addition, the rotarod test is widely used to assess mo-
tor coordination skill of animals. Over the years, this task
has been used by various researchers and it has proven to
be very informative regarding the qualitative aspect of
walking movements in animals [53]. In the present study,
PD modeled animals consistently preformed more poorly
than controls in the rotarod test and co-treatment with
Mp + Ws significantly rescued this impairment.
The present study gives strong evidence for the bene-
ficial effect of the co-administration of Mp + Ws on PD-
related symptoms in PQ induced Parkinsonian mice. In
combination, these herbal plants show effective neuro-
protective activity. Together, they successfully attenuate
PQ induced neurotoxicity, which is evident from the im-
proved level of TH activity in SN region of mice brain
indicating rescued levels of dopamine. The behavioural
and antioxidant recovery is also a substantial indicator of
the neuroprotective action of these herbal plants.
Authors are thankful to Miss. Susan Westfall, Douglas Mental Health
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
J. Prakash et al. / Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 4 (2013) 1-9 7
University Institute, Montreal, QC, Canada and Department of Neu-
rology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
for her constructive suggestions while writing the paper. Authors wish
to acknowledge Dr. T. D. Singh, Associate Professor, Department of
Medicinal Chemistry, IMS, BHU, for helping us to prepare ethanolic
root extract of Ws in his laboratory. The authors sincerely thank Indian
Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, India for providing
research fellowship to Jay Prakash, Council of Scientific and Industrial
Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India for providing research fellowship
to Satyndra Kumar Yadav and Department of Science and Technology
(DST), New Delhi, India for providing fellowship to Shikha Chouhan.
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