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Open Access Research article

Antidepressant-like effects of methanol extract of Hibiscus tiliaceus flowers in mice

Cláudia Vanzella1, Paula Bianchetti1, Sabrina Sbaraini1, Samanta Inês Vanzin1, Maria Inês Soares Melecchi2, Elina Bastos Caramão2 and Ionara Rodrigues Siqueira13*

Author Affiliations

1 Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Centro Universitário UNIVATES, Rua Avelino Tallini, 171, Bairro Universitário, CEP 95900-000, Lajeado, RS, Brazil

2 Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, Bairro Agronomia, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

3 Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Sarmento Leite, 500 sala 202, 90050-170, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:41  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-41

Published: 12 April 2012

Abstract

Background

Hibiscus tiliaceus L. (Malvaceae) is used in postpartum disorders. Our purpose was to examine the antidepressant, anxiolytic and sedative actions of the methanol extract of H. tiliaceus flowers using animal models.

Methods

Adult male Swiss albino mice were treated with saline, standard drugs or methanol extract of H. tiliaceus and then subjected to behavioral tests. The forced swimming and tail suspension tests were used as predictive animal models of antidepressant activity, where the time of immobility was considered. The animals were submitted to the elevated plus-maze and ketamine-induced sleeping time to assess anxiolytic and sedative activities, respectively.

Results

Methanol extract of H. tiliaceus significantly decreased the duration of immobility in both animal models of antidepressant activity, forced swimming and tail suspension tests. This extract did not potentiate the effect of ketamine-induced hypnosis, as determined by the time to onset and duration of sleeping time.

Conclusion

Our results indicate an antidepressant-like profile of action for the extract of Hibiscus tiliaceus without sedative side effect.