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Molecules 2013, 18(4), 4342-4356; doi:10.3390/molecules18044342

Anxiolytic Effects of Herbal Ethanol Extract from Gynostemma pentaphyllum in Mice after Exposure to Chronic Stress

1
Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Research Center for Bioresource and Health, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Korea
2
Institute of Sports Science, College of Physical Education, Kyunghee University, Youngin 449-701, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2013 / Revised: 7 April 2013 / Accepted: 8 April 2013 / Published: 12 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
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Abstract

In this study, the effects of herbal ethanol extracts of Gynostemma pentaphyllum (GP-EX), on chronic electric footshock (EF) stress-induced anxiety disorders were investigated in mice, which were orally treated with GP-EX (30 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) once a day for 14 days, followed by exposure to EF stress (2 mA, with an interval and duration of 10 s for 3 min). After the final exposure to EF stress, the elevated plus-maze and marble burying tests were performed, and the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, the serum levels of corticosterone, and the expression of c-Fos in the paraventricular nuclei (PVN) were determined. Treatment with GP-EX (30 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) significantly recovered the number of entries into open arms and time spent on open arms, which was reduced by chronic EF stress. GP-EX (30 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) also reduced the number of marbles buried, which was increased by chronic EF stress. In addition, electric EF stress significantly decreased the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which was recovered by treatment with GP-EX (30 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg). The serum levels of corticosterone, which were markedly increased by chronic EF stress, were reduced by treatment with GP-EX (30 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg). Chronic EF stress-induced increases in c-Fos expression were also markedly reduced by GP-EX (30 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) in the PVN. These results suggest that GP-EX shows anxiolytic functions, determined by the elevated plus-maze and marble burying tests, which are mediated by modulating the activity of dopamine and serotonin neurons as well as the expression of c-Fos in the brain, and the serum levels of corticosterone. Clinical trials of herbal GP-EX and its bioactive components need further investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gynostemma pentaphyllum; chronic stress; anxiety disorders; elevated plus-maze; marble burying; dopamine; serotonin; corticosterone; c-Fos Gynostemma pentaphyllum; chronic stress; anxiety disorders; elevated plus-maze; marble burying; dopamine; serotonin; corticosterone; c-Fos
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Choi, H.S.; Zhao, T.T.; Shin, K.S.; Kim, S.H.; Hwang, B.Y.; Lee, C.K.; Lee, M.K. Anxiolytic Effects of Herbal Ethanol Extract from Gynostemma pentaphyllum in Mice after Exposure to Chronic Stress. Molecules 2013, 18, 4342-4356.

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