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Phytother Res. 2016 May;30(5):781-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5578. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

Passiflora incarnata L. Improves Spatial Memory, Reduces Stress, and Affects Neurotransmission in Rats.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Warsaw, Centre for Preclinical Research and Technology CePT, Banacha 1B, 02-097, Warsaw, Poland.
2
2nd Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Sobieskiego 9, 02-957, Warsaw, Poland.

Abstract

Passiflora incarnata L. has been used as a medicinal plant in South America and Europe since the 16th century. Previous pharmacological studies focused mainly on the plant's sedative, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant effects on the central nervous system and its supporting role in the treatment of addiction. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the behavioral and neurochemical effects of long-term oral administration of P. incarnata. The passionflower extract (30, 100, or 300 mg/kg body weight/day) was given to 4-week-old male Wistar rats via their drinking water. Tests were conducted after 7 weeks of treatment. Spatial memory was assessed in a water maze, and the levels of amino acids, monoamines, and their metabolites were evaluated in select brain regions by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We observed reduced anxiety and dose-dependent improvement of memory in rats given passionflower compared to the control group. In addition, hippocampal glutamic acid and cortical serotonin content were depleted, with increased levels of metabolites and increased turnover. Thus, our results partially confirmed the proposed mechanism of action of P. incarnata involving GABAA receptors.

KEYWORDS:

Passiflora incarnata; anxiety; glutamic acid; passionflower; serotonin; spatial memory

PMID:
26814055
DOI:
10.1002/ptr.5578
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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