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J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jan 3;109(1):87-92. Epub 2006 Jul 11.

Evidence that the beta-acids fraction of hops reduces central GABAergic neurotransmission.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of Pharmacology, National InterUniversity Consortium for the Study of Natural Active Principles (CINSPAN), University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41100 Modena, Italy. zanoli.paola@unimore.it

Abstract

Humulus lupulus (hops) is traditionally used as a tranquilizing herbal remedy. Here, we investigated the in vivo and in vitro effect of hop beta-acids on central nervous system function. Oral administration of beta-acids (5-10mg/kg) in rats produced an increased exploratory activity in the open field, a reduction in the pentobarbital hypnotic activity and a worsening of picrotoxin-induced seizures. When dosed at 10mg/kg, beta-acids increased, in the elevated plus maze, open arm entries reducing in parallel those in closed arms. In the forced swimming test, we observed a reduction in the immobility time that could suggest an antidepressant-like activity. Electrophysiological studies performed on cerebellar granule cells in culture showed that the beta-acids fraction decreased GABA-evoked current in a dose-dependent way. The effect was not inhibited by the benzodiazepine antagonist Ro 15-1788. Benzodiazepine receptors involvement was also excluded by [(3)H]-Ro 15-1788 binding assay. In conclusion, the behavioral effects of beta-acids fraction could be explained by a reduction in the GABAergic activity although we cannot rule out the involvement of other neurotransmitter systems.

PMID:
16920300
DOI:
10.1016/j.jep.2006.07.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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