The anxiolytic-like effects of Aloysia polystachya (Griseb

Author(s): Hellión-Ibarrola MC, Ibarrola DA, Montalbetti Y, Kennedy ML, Heinichen O, et al.


The aim of the present work is to demonstrate the putative sedative and anxiolytic-like effects of a hydro-ethanolic extract obtained from the aerial parts of Aloysia polystachya (Verbenaceae) in male mice using several behavioural assays. Groups of male mice orally treated with doses of 1.0, 10.0 and 100.0 mg/kg of the extract did not show any significant alteration of their locomotor activity, body temperature or motor coordination. The same treatment increased the duration of the sleeping time induced by 30.0 mg/kg i.p. of sodium pentobarbital. However, the sleeping time induced by ethyl ether was not modified by the oral administration of the extract, not confirming the putative sedative effect of the plant. The ethanolic extract also significantly increased the percentage of both entries (1.0 and 100.0 mg/kg) and the time spent (10.0 and 100.0 mg/kg) into the open arms of the elevated plus maze (EPM). Nevertheless, the binding of (3)H-flunitrazepam ((3)H-FNZ) to the benzodiazepine binding site (BDZ-bs), in washed crude synaptosomal membranes from rat cerebral cortex, was not affected by the semi-purified components from Aloysia polystachya. These results indicate an anxiolytic-like profile of action for the extract of Aloysia polystachya without sedative side effect, being this activity probably mediated by other mechanism than BDZ-bs modulation at the GABA(A) receptors.

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