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AANA J. 2009 Feb;77(1):33-6.

Investigation of the anxiolytic effects of luteolin, a lemon balm flavonoid in the male Sprague-Dawley rat.

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  • 1US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, USA.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the anxiolytic effects of luteolin and its potential interaction with the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Lemon balm has traditionally been used as an herbal remedy in the treatment of many medical conditions, including anxiety. Luteolin is a major component of the essential oil lemon balm. We divided 55 rats into 5 groups: (1) control (negative control), (2) luteolin, (3) midazolam (positive control), (4) flumazenil and luteolin, and (5) midazolam and luteolin. The behavioral component of anxiety was examined by using the elevated plus-maze (open arm time/total time) and motor movements. Data analyses were performed using a 2-tailed multivariate analysis of variance and Sheffé post hoc test. Our data suggest that luteolin does not produce anxiolysis by modulation of the GABAA receptor; however, luteolin may modulate motor movements and locomotion.

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