Send to

Choose Destination
Life Sci. 2004 Oct 1;75(20):2451-62.

Anxiolytic effect of berberine on exploratory activity of the mouse in two experimental anxiety models: interaction with drugs acting at 5-HT receptors.

Author information

Graduated Institute of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh Shih Rd., Taichung 404, Taiwan, ROC.


The aim of this study was to assess the anxiolytic effect of berberine (abbrev. BER) using two experimental anxiety models in the mouse. In the black and white test of anxiety, berberine (100, 500 mg/kg) produced an increase in the first time entry, time spent in the white section, and total changes between two compartments. On the other hand, in the elevated plus-maze test, berberine (100, 500 mg/kg) produced an increase in the time spent and arm entries in the open arms, and a decrease in the time spent and arm entries in the closed arms. Berberine (500 mg/kg) decreased locomotor activity in mice. Furthermore, BER at 100, 500 mg/kg decreased concentrations of NE, DA and 5-HT, and increased the concentrations of VMA, HVA and 5-HIAA in the brain stem. BER also attenuated the anxiogenic effect of WAY-100635, 8-OH DPAT and DOI and enhanced the anxiolytic effect of BUS, p-MPPI and RIT in the elevated plus-maze. These results suggested that berberine at 100 mg/kg had a significant anxiolytic-like effect, which was similar to that observed with 1 mg/kg diazepam and 2 mg/kg buspirone. The anxiolytic mechanism of BER might be related to the increase in turnover rates of monoamines in the brain stem and decreased serotonergic system activity. Moreover, BER decreased serotonergic system activity via activation of somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors and inhibition of postsynaptic 5-HT1A and 5-HT2 receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center