Evidence for the involvement of the monoaminergic system, but not the opioid system in the antidepressant-like activity of ellagic acid in mice.Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 May 05; 682(1-3):118-25.EJ
Dietary flavonoids possess a multiplicity of neuroprotective actions in various central nervous pathophysiological conditions including depression. Ellagic acid is a polyphenolic compound that occurs in plants such as raspberries, nuts and eucalyptus species. The present study was designed to investigate the antidepressant-like effect of ellagic acid in mice using forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST). The involvement of the monoaminergic and opioid systems in the antidepressant-like activity of ellagic acid was also studied. Our results showed that ellagic acid when administered acutely or chronically to mice (25, 50 and 100mg/kg, p.o.), produced a significant reduction in the duration of immobility, with a profile comparable to that of fluoxetine (20mg/kg, p.o.). However, ellagic acid treatment had no effect on the locomotor activity of mice when tested in actophotometer. The reduction in immobility time observed with ellagic acid treatment (50mg/kg, p.o.) was prevented by pretreatment with p-chlorophenylalanine (100mg/kg, i.p., a serotonin synthesis inhibitor), pindolol (10mg/kg, i.p., a β-adrenoceptors blocker/5HT(1A/1B) receptor antagonist), ketanserin (5mg/kg, i.p., a 5HT(2A/2B) receptor antagonist), ondansetron (1mg/kg, i.p., a 5HT(3) receptor antagonist), prazosin (1mg/kg, i.p., an α(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist) and yohimbine (1mg/kg, i.p., an α(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist), but not with naloxone (1mg/kg, i.p., an opioid receptor antagonist). Our results suggest that ellagic acid produced an antidepressant-like effect which was unrelated to its locomotor activity. Furthermore, this anti-immobility effect seems most likely to be mediated through an interaction with the monoaminergic system (serotonergic and noradrenergic systems) and not through the opioid system.