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Planta Med. 2008 Dec;74(15):1769-73. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1088322. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

Anxiolytic activity of a phytochemically characterized Passiflora incarnata extract is mediated via the GABAergic system.

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College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Florida, FL, USA.


The purpose of this research was to assess the anxiolytic properties of a phytochemically characterized commercial extract from Passiflora incarnata (PI; Passifloraceae) in the elevated plus maze test in mice. Using an HPLC method, the flavonoids homoorientin, orientin, vitexin, and isovitexin were identified as major compounds. Following oral administration, the extract exerted an anxiolytic effect that was comparable to diazepam (1.5 mg/kg) at a dose of 375 mg/kg and exhibited a U-shaped dose-response curve. In addition, antagonism studies using the GABA (A)/benzodiazepine receptor antagonist flumazenil and the 5-HT (1A)-receptor antagonist WAY-100 635 were conducted. The active dose was effectively antagonized by flumazenil, but not by WAY-100 635. This study is the first demonstration of the IN VIVO, GABA-mediated anxiolytic activity of an HPLC- characterized extract of Passiflora incarnata.

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