ALIBERTIA EDULIS AS A POTENTIAL ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUG
Introduction: Alibertia edulis, popularly known as marmelo do cerrado, is used in folk medicine as it presents hypoglycemic, antihypertensive, diuretic and antidepressant effects. However, the effect(s) of this extract on the central nervous system, have not been reported. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effects of the aqueous extract of A. edulis dried leaves (AEAE) on the central nervous system of male rats through the forced swimming test (FS).Material and Methods: Four doses (125, 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) of the AEAE were administered to rats, by gavage, for seven days. Fluoxetine (10 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally administered to the positive control group and water to the negative control. Each rat was exposed to a 15 min FS training session and, twenty-four hours later, were monitored for 5 min (test session). Immobility and swimming time as well as number of climbing events were evaluated.Results:Results showed a statistically significant decrease in the immobility time of the positive control group and groups treated with 125, 500 and 1000 mg/kg of the AEAE when compared with the negative control. The group treated with 250 mg/kg of the AEAE showed a significant increase in immobility time when compared to the positive control.Discussion and Conclusion:The FS test is the most used experimental model to evaluate the antidepressant activity and associates this activity to the reduction in the immobility time of rats to drugs that act on the neurotransmission systems mediated by noradrenaline and serotonin. Noradrenaline has often been associated with anxiety disorders, since it excessively stimulates the CNS. The main theory that explains the role of noradrenaline in anxiety disorders is that patients who have this mood disorder could have deficient noradrenergic regulation with occasional increases in activity. As known, CNS depressant drugs, such as benzodiazepines (allosteric modulators of GABA-A receptors), are still used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, although there are drugs that act on noradrenergic, serotonergic and glutamatergic systems. Data suggest a potential antidepressant-like effect of the AEAE at doses of 125, 500 and 1000 mg/kg. Such effect might be attributed to the presence of tryptophan in the AEAE, which is an essential amino acid indispensable for the production of serotonin. Acknowlegments: CAPES, Fundect and CNPq.
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