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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Mar 30;31(2):421-8. Epub 2006 Dec 19.

Antidepressant-like effect of the extract from leaves of Schinus molle L. in mice: evidence for the involvement of the monoaminergic system.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.


Schinus molle L. (Anacardiaceae), among other uses, is popularly employed for the treatment of depression. In this study, the antidepressant-like effect of the hexanic extract from leaves of S. molle was investigated in the mouse tail suspension test (TST), a predictive model of depression. The immobility time in the TST was significantly reduced by the extract (dose range 30-600 mg/kg, p.o.), without accompanying changes in ambulation when assessed in an open-field test. The efficacy of extract was found to be comparable to that of fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, p.o.). The anti-immobility effect of the extract (100 mg/kg, p.o.) was prevented by pretreatment of mice with p-chlorophenylalanine methyl ester (PCPA, 100 mg/kg, i.p., an inhibitor of serotonin synthesis, for four consecutive days), NAN-190 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p., a 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist), WAY100635 (0.1 mg/kg, s.c., a selective 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist), ketanserin (5 mg/kg, i.p., a 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor antagonist), MDL72222 (0.1 mg/kg, i.p., a 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist), prazosin (1 mg/kg, i.p., an alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist), yohimbine (1 mg/kg, i.p., an alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist), SCH23390 (0.05 mg/kg, s.c., a D(1) receptor antagonist) or sulpiride (50 mg/kg, i.p., a D(2) receptor antagonist). It may be concluded that the hexanic extract of S. molle produces an antidepressant-like effect that seems to be dependent on its interaction with the serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems. These results provide evidence that the extract from S. molle shares with established antidepressants some pharmacological effects, at least at a preclinical level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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