Ethnopharmacological relevance: Sleep disorders are among the most common symptoms in both peri- and post-menopausal women. Kamishoyosan (KSS) is a Kampo medicine prescribed for the treatment of sleep disorders in menopausal women in Japan. However, its precise mechanism of action remains unclear. Aim of the study: In the present study, we developed a new animal model of menopausal sleep disorders by inducing social isolation stress in ovariectomized mice. Using pentobarbital-induced sleeping time as an index, we aimed to investigate the effects of KSS and involvement of the benzodiazepine receptors. Materials and methods: Eight-week-old, female ddY mice were ovariectomized or subjected to a sham operation (control) and housed in social isolation or groups for 9 weeks. The animals were divided into four groups, group-housed sham-operated, isolated sham-operated, group-housed ovariectomized, and socially isolated ovariectomized. Pentobarbital (50 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally (i.p.). Sleeping time was considered the period between the loss of righting reflex and its return (up to 180 min). KSS was administered orally (p.o.) 60 min before the test. Diazepam and flumazenil were administered i.p. 30 and 45 min before the test, respectively. On the day after administration, the mice were euthanized, and their uteri were weighed. Results: Socially isolated, ovariectomized mice had shorter sleeping times than mice in all other groups. In mice with intact ovaries, diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.) considerably prolonged the pentobarbital-induced sleeping time, but KSS (30–1000 mg/kg, p.o.) did not. However, KSS (100 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly prolonged the pentobarbital-induced sleeping time in socially isolated ovariectomized mice. The prolongation of sleeping time mediated by KSS was reversed by flumazenil (3 mg/kg, i.p.). Conclusions: KSS potentiated pentobarbital-induced sleep in socially isolated, ovariectomized mice, and the benzodiazepine receptors are possibly involved in its pharmacological mechanism. These findings suggest that KSS is beneficial for the treatment of menopausal sleep disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Drug Discovery