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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Aug;78(4):757-64.

Pharmacological and neurochemical evidence for antidepressant-like effects of the herbal product Catuama.

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Department of Pharmacology, Centre of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Rua Ferreira Lima, 82, 88015-420, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.


Catuama is a marketed herbal product currently used as a tonic, especially for the management of mental or physical fatigue. In the present study, we have shown pharmacological and neurochemical evidence for antidepressant-like actions of the product Catuama. Acute and chronic oral treatments with Catuama both resulted in a significant reduction of the immobility time in two models of depression in mice, the forced swimming and the tail suspension tests. Conversely, treatment with the same doses of Catuama did not significantly interfere with motor activity according to assessment in the open-field test. The antidepressant-like effects were comparable to those observed for classical antidepressant drugs. When assessed in vitro, Catuama inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, the synaptosomal uptake of noradrenaline and principally of serotonin and dopamine, in rat brain. Likewise, in vitro incubation of Catuama also resulted in a marked increase of the release of serotonin and dopamine in rat brain crude preparation of synaptosomal membranes. Finally, Catuama was found to be effective in interfering with the synaptosomal uptake of serotonin and dopamine following long-term oral treatment of rats. The present findings allow us to suggest that the herbal product Catuama might be useful for the clinical management of moderate and mild depressive states, alone or in association with current antidepressant drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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