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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 312524, 10 pages
Research Article

Toxicity and Neuropharmacological Effects of Elenine

1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of La Laguna, La Laguna, 38071 Tenerife, Spain
2Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, 35001 Canary Islands, Spain

Received 16 December 2010; Revised 22 February 2011; Accepted 15 March 2011

Copyright © 2011 Eduardo Navarro 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.


Elenine is the aglycone of elenoside, a cytotoxic arylnaphthalene lignan (NSC 644013-W/1) derived from Justicia hyssopifolia. (Family: Acanthaceae). Elenoside is a β-D-glucoside, with a similar chemical structure to etoposide, exhibiting central depressant activity. In the present study, elenine was given to mice and rats at doses of 10, 20, and 40 mg/kg. Acute toxicity (24 h) and general behaviour in mice was studied as well as its effects on muscular relaxant activity, locomotor activity (Varimex test), and the open-field test and were compared with 10 mg/kg of chlorpromazine. Elenine produced a reduction in the permanence time in muscular relaxant activity (traction test). Spontaneous activity was lower in the Varimex test. The ambulation and rearing were lower compared with the control group, and an increase in boluses was observed in the open-field test. Thus, it can be concluded that elenine has central sedative effects at lower doses than those used with elenoside and has a possible application in conditions of anxiety.