Comparative central effects of the aqueous leaf extract of two populations of Passiflora edulis

Abstract

Passiflora edulis Sims, Passifloraceae, has been used in Brazilian traditional folk medicine to the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. P. edulis is commonly known for its economic interests in Brazil. This species exhibits significant variability in the fruit rind color, then two subpopulations has been described (P. edulis fo. flavicarpa O. Deg. (PEF); P. edulis fo. edulis (PEE)). This study compared phytochemical profile and biological actions of aqueous leaf extract of PEE and PEF. HPLC analysis showed marked distinct chromatograms to the P. edulis varieties. However, in both extracts the major compounds observed were flavonoids C-glycosides. Behavioral studies showed that PEE (300 mg/kg, p.o.) and PEF (100 and 300 mg/kg, p.o.) reduced anxiety in the elevated plus maze test. PEE (300 and 1000 mg/kg, p.o.) and PEF (1000 mg/kg, p.o.) also induced antidepressant-like actions in the forced swimming test. PEE 1000 mg/kg significantly reduced distance moved, thus suggesting sedation. No alterations in sleeping time were observed with PEE and PEF extracts. In conclusion, despite the similarities between the biological actions observed for both P. edulis varieties, quite different phytochemical profile was herein reported. These data suggest that the anxiolytic and antidepressant actions are not due to a specific phytochemical component.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by funds from CNPq/Brazil (Grant No. 304453/2012-9 to ECG) and from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte. ASFSJA held a PhD fellowship founded by CAPES/Brazil.

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SMZ and ECG defined the experimental design of this study. ASFSJA, LLSA, TCS and GMC contributed by performing the biological and phytochemical assays. FHR, FAR, LC and EPS contributed to prepare the extracts. ASFSJA, SMZ and ECG drafted the paper, while EPS, VPSR contributed to critical reading of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript submission.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elaine C. Gavioli.

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Ayres, A.S.F.S.J., de Araújo, L.L.S., Soares, T.C. et al. Comparative central effects of the aqueous leaf extract of two populations of Passiflora edulis. Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 25, 499–505 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2015.06.007

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Keywords

  • Passiflora edulis edulis
  • Passiflora edulis flavicarpa
  • Anxiolytic
  • Antidepressant
  • Sedation
  • Animal models