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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 958209, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/958209
Research Article

Antidepressant-Like Effect of Ilex paraguariensis in Rats

1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Farmacologia, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brazil
2Curso de Farmácia, Universidade de Cruz Alta, 98020-290 Cruz Alta, RS, Brazil
3Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas/Bioquímica Toxicológica, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brazil
4Curso de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brazil
5Departamento de Farmácia Industrial, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brazil

Received 4 November 2013; Revised 31 January 2014; Accepted 25 March 2014; Published 4 May 2014

Academic Editor: Adair Santos

Copyright © 2014 Elizete De Moraes Reis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the possible antidepressant-like effect of I. paraguariensis in rats. Rats were treated for four weeks with an aqueous extract of I. paraguariensis in drinking water, following the traditional preparation of this beverage. After the period of treatment, behavioral (elevated plus-maze, open field test, and forced swimming test) and biochemical parameters (lipid peroxidation assay, thiol content, vitamin C levels, and monoamine oxidase activity) were evaluated. Animals were also analyzed on forced swimming test after 24 hours of I. paraguariensis intake. An additional group was injected with selegiline 24 hours and 30 minutes before forced swimming test as positive control. HPLC analysis revealed the profile of I. paraguariensis extract. I. paraguariensis reduced the immobility time on forced swimming test without significant changes in locomotor activity in the open field test. Any anxiolytic/anxiogenic effect of I. paraguariensis was observed in rats through the elevated plus-maze test. The antidepressant-like effect of I. paraguariensis was not accompanied by inhibitory effect on monoamine oxidase activity. There were no significant alterations on lipid peroxidation, thiol content, and vitamin C levels among the groups. In conclusion, aqueous extract of I. paraguariensis decreases the time of immobility in rats suggesting an antidepressant-like effect.