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J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Oct 28;63(42):9277-85. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b04141. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

Lotus Leaf Alkaloid Extract Displays Sedative-Hypnotic and Anxiolytic Effects through GABAA Receptor.

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Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College , Beijing 100193, People's Republic of China.
Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Ministry of Education, College of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science & Technology , Tianjin 300457, People's Republic of China.


Lotus leaves have been used traditionally as both food and herbal medicine in Asia. Open-field, sodium pentobarbital-induced sleeping and light/dark box tests were used to evaluate sedative-hypnotic and anxiolytic effects of the total alkaloids (TA) extracted from the herb, and the neurotransmitter levels in the brain were determined by ultrafast liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The effects of picrotoxin, flumazenil, and bicuculline on the hypnotic activity of TA, as well as the influence of TA on Cl(-) influx in cerebellar granule cells, were also investigated. TA showed a sedative-hypnotic effect by increasing the brain level of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and the hypnotic effect could be blocked by picrotoxin and bicuculline, but could not be antagonized by flumazenil. Additionally, TA could increase Cl(-) influx in cerebellar granule cells. TA at 20 mg/kg induced anxiolytic-like effects and significantly increased the concentrations of serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and dopamine (DA). These data demonstrated that TA exerts sedative-hypnotic and anxiolytic effects via binding to the GABAA receptor and activating the monoaminergic system.


GABAA receptor; anxiolytic; lotus leaves; monoaminergic system; sedative−hypnotic

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