Teaching: 35 I
- BP Mukherjee award (1998-2000) for best research paper on Indigenous System of Medicine (Indian Pharmacological Society)
- Best Teacher Awards in 2008 (Nashik Sarvajanik Vachanalaya) and 2013 (Sarojini Devi Memorial award by Higher Education Forum, Mumbai)
- Member of Research & Review committee of Shivaji University and North Maharashtra University.
- Member of Editorial Board: OPEM, Journal of Natural Remedies, Journal of Pharmacology Pharmacotherapeutics.
Publications Details/Major Findings:
Major Contribution to Research: Involved in research on medicinal plants since 1990. Brief summary of research work on Mucuna pruriens and Withania somnifera is as follows
RESEARCH ON MUCUNA PRURIENS SEED EXTRACT
Furthering the pioneering research carried out by Dr. K.M. Parikh and Dr. Mahajani on Mucuna pruriens, worked on Behavioral, Biochemical, histological, and Genetic models of Parkinson’s disease and Major findings were:
- Mucunapruriensextract was better than Levodopa in 6-hydroxydopamine model of Parkinson’s disease in rats. Mucuna extract sensitized contralateral rotation and reduced abnormal involuntary movements (Neurotox Res. 2009;15(2):111-22)
- Published a review on Mucunapruriens which emphasized the importance of holistic approach of Ayurveda in using the Mucunapruriensin treatment of PD(Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine 2013; 13: 165–174).
- Mucunapruriensextract effectively rescued motor, olfactory, mitochondrial and synaptic impairment in the PINK1B9 drosophila melanogaster genetic model of Parkinson’s disease.Electron microscopy showed that PINK1B9 drosophila melanogaster treated with Mucuna extract protected mitochondria from damage, reduced inflammation of mitochondria, and increasedthe amount of Bruchpilot protein and Tyrosine hydroxylase and also the T-Bar density suggestive of increased number of synapses responsible for improving the interaction of dopamine with its receptors. In these studies Mucuna extract was better than synthetic levodopa (PLoS One. 2014;9(10):e110802).
- Mucuna extract increased SOD and GSH level in cytosol and mitochondria of PINK1B9 drosophila melanogaster(FASEB 2019 Jul 10:fj201901010).
- Mucuna extract also rescued anomalous locomotion and electrophysiological responses of TDP-43 Drosophila melanogaster model of ALS. (Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 30;8(1):16002)
- The imbalance of serotonergic circuitry impairing the crop supercontractile muscle activity and the mitochondrial morphology of PD PINK1B9Drosophila melanogaster are rescued by Mucunapruriens. (J Insect Physiol. 2018;111:32-40).
- Mucuna(Mpe) and Withania(Wse) showed differential effects in the hSOD1 Drosophila melanogaster model of ALS. Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 41059).
Both Wse and Mpe significantly rescued climbing impairment, and also latency and amplitude of ePSPs as well as failure responses to high frequency DLM stimulation. Mitochondrial alterations were present in Wse- but not in Mpe-treated hSOD1 mutants. Hence, given the role of inflammation in the development of ALS, the high translational impact of the model, the known anti-inflammatory properties of these extracts, and the viability of their clinical use, suggest that the application of Wse and Mpe might represent a valuable pharmacological strategy to counteract the progression of ALS and related symptoms.
RESEARCH ON WITHANIA SOMNIFERA EXTRACT
Carried out some outstanding research on Withania somnifera extract (WSE). Major findings are given below:
- WSE prevented morphine withdrawal induced decrease in spine density in Nucleus accumbens shell of ratswhen given with Morphine. Withania was ineffective when given after morphine withdrawal (Neurotox Res. 2009;16:343-55).
- WSE exhibited high affinity for GABAA, GABAB, NMDA and δ-opioid receptors and prolonged analgesia in mice treated with morphine(Phytomedicine 2014; 21: 745–52).
- WSE through GABAB receptors, impaired motivation for drinking ethanol suggesting an approach for the management of alcohol abuse.(Behavioural Pharmacology: 2014; 25:618–28)
- WSE alters basal and morphine-induced opioid receptor gene expression changes in Neuroblastoma cells (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicinevolume18, Article number: 9 (2018).
- WSE is also useful in treatment of addiction as WSE prevented acquisition and expression of morphine-elicited conditioned place preference (Behavioural Pharmacology: 2013; 24:133–43).
- WSE inhibited morphine and ethanol mediated stimulation of mesolimbic dopamine neurons in rats( Neurosci., June 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.00545)
- WSE was also found useful in LRRK2 Drosophila melanogaster model of late onset Parkinson’s disease. WSE increased locomotor activity, and protected against mitochondrial degeneration(PLoS One. 2016;11(1):e0146140).
- WSE was also found to be useful in hSOD1 drosophila melanogaster model of ALS. Based on these findings, clinical studies are in progress (Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 41059).
- WithaniasomniferaDunal (Indian ginseng) impairs acquisition and expression of ethanol-elicited conditioned place preference and conditioned place aversion.Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2015, 29(11):1191-1199.