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Eur J Pharmacol. 2010 Sep 25;643(2-3):232-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.06.043. Epub 2010 Jun 30.

Antidepressant-like effect of scopoletin, a coumarin isolated from Polygala sabulosa (Polygalaceae) in mice: evidence for the involvement of monoaminergic systems.

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


The relationship between depression and monoaminergic systems has been hypothesized for many years. In this study, we have investigated the possible antidepressant-like effect of scopoletin, a coumarin from Polygala sabulosa in the tail suspension test and forced swimming test. Moreover, the ability of scopoletin to reverse the depression-like behavior in the forced swimming test induced by immobility stress in mice was evaluated. Scopoletin reduced the immobility time in the tail suspension test (10-100mg/kg, p.o.), but not in the forced swimming test. Fluoxetine (positive control) decreased the immobility time in the forced swimming and tail suspension tests (20mg/kg, p.o. and 10mg/kg. p.o., respectively). Immobility stress caused an increase in the immobility time in the forced swimming test (depression-like behavior), which was reversed by scopoletin (1-100mg/kg, p.o.) and fluoxetine (10mg/kg, p.o.). Scopoletin produced no psychostimulant effect in the open-field test. The pretreatment of mice with ketanserin (5mg/kg, i.p., a preferential 5-HT(2A) receptor antagonist), prazosin (1mg/kg, i.p., an alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist), yohimbine (1mg/kg, i.p., an alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist), haloperidol (0.2mg/kg, i.p., a dopaminergic receptor antagonist), SCH23390 (0.05 mg/kg, s.c., a dopamine D(1) receptor antagonist) or sulpiride (50mg/kg, i.p., a dopamine D(2) receptor antagonist), but not WAY100635 (0.1mg/kg, s.c., a selective 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist) prevented the antidepressant-like effect of scopoletin (10mg/kg, p.o.) in the tail suspension test. The results indicate that its antidepressant-like effect is dependent on the serotonergic (5-HT(2A) receptors), noradrenergic (alpha(1)- and alpha(2)-adrenoceptors) and dopaminergic (dopamine D(1) and D(2) receptors) systems.

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