The consumption of flavonoid-rich foods, in particular fruits and vegetables, has been epidemiologically associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. Flavonoid glycosides, the main class of flavonoids, have been shown to exert CNS-mediated activities, particularly as sedative-hypnotics, analgesics or both, nevertheless no studies have evaluated these agents in anxiety. This study assessed the potential anxiolytic effect of three flavonoid glycosides, myrcitrin, naringin and gossypin, in the elevated plus maze test (EPM). Myricitrin (1 mg/kg) was effective on the EPM showing a clear anxiolytic effect with no signs of sedation. However, higher doses showed possible sedative and myorelaxation effects. Gossypin and naringin both shared a similar profile, with low doses (1 mg/kg) inducing a robust anxiolytic effect which diminished with increasing doses of the flavonoids. Higher doses of these two flavonoids showed a dramatic increase in the open arm exploration accompanied by a decrease in locomotor activity. Hence, naringin (30 mg/kg) and gossypin (30 mg/kg) induce both anxiolytic and sedative effects. These results suggest that flavonoid glycosides have the potential to exert a range of CNS-mediated biological activities.
Naringin Gossypin Myricitrin Flavone Flavonoid glycosides Elevated plus maze
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The authors are indebted to Dr. Alejandro A. Paladini (INGEBI, Buenos Aires, Argentina) for designing the behavioural apparatus. This research was supported by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) of Australia.
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