Anti-depressant effect of Artemisia dracunculus extract is mediated via GABAergic and serotoninergic systems in ovariectomized mice

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Section of Physiology, Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objective: Depression is known as the most prevalent mental disorder and there is growing interest to use medical plants with lower side effects. So, the aim of current study was to determine anti-depressant effect of Artemisia dracunculus extract (ADE) in ovariectomized (OVX) mice and its possible interaction with opioidergic, GABAergic and serotoninergic systems.
Materials and Methods: In experiment 1, mice were kept as control and sham groups, OVX, OVX+ ADE (12.5 mg/kg), OVX+ ADE (25 mg/kg) and OVX+ADE (50 mg/kg). In experiment 2, mice kept as control and sham, OVX, OVX+ ADE (50 mg/kg), OVX+naloxone (2 mg/kg) and OVX+injection of ADE and naloxone. Experiments 3-5 were similar to experiment 2, except injections of the flumazenil (5 mg/kg), fluoxetine (5 mg/kg) and cyproheptadine (4 mg/kg). Then, forced swimming test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and open field test (OFT) tests were done. Also, serum malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and total antioxidant status (TAS) levels were determined.
Results: According to the findings, OVX increased immobility time compared to control group (P<0.05). ADE (50 mg/kg) decreased depression induced immobility time compared to OVX group (P<0.05). Injection of ADE+flumazenil decreased depression induced immobility time in TST and FST and increased number of crossing in OFT (P<0.05). Injection of ADE+fluoxetine decreased depression induced immobility time (P<0.05). ADE (25 and 50 mg/kg) reduced the MDA while elevated SOD and GPx levels in OVX mice (P<0.05).
Conclusion: It seems that antidepressant activity of Artemisia dracunculus is mediated via GABAergic and serotoninergic systems in OVX mice.


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