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Comparative Study
, 27 (2), 168-79

Behavioral Effects of Cocoa and Its Main Active Compound Theobromine: Evaluation by Ambulatory Activity and Discrete Avoidance in Mice

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  • PMID: 1586288
Comparative Study

Behavioral Effects of Cocoa and Its Main Active Compound Theobromine: Evaluation by Ambulatory Activity and Discrete Avoidance in Mice

H Kuribara et al. Arukoru Kenkyuto Yakubutsu Ison.

Abstract

Effects of cocoa and its main CNS active constituent methylxanthine theobromine as well as caffeine were evaluated by ambulatory activity, and discrete lever-press and shuttle avoidance in mice. Cocoa (1 g/kg p.o.) and theobromine (10 mg/kg p.o.) significantly increased ambulatory activity. However, the other doses of cocoa and theobromine had no effect on the ambulatory activity. Caffeine increased ambulatory activity with the maximum action at 30 mg/kg p.o. Furthermore, cocoa (0.1, 0.3 and 1 g/kg), theobromine (3, 10, 30 and 100 mg/kg) and caffeine (3, 10, 30 and 100 mg/kg) enhanced the ambulation-increasing effect of methamphetamine (2 mg/kg s.c.). The ambulation-increasing effect of cocaine (20 mg/kg s.c.) was also enhanced by cocoa (1 g/kg), theobromine (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg) and caffeine (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg). On the other hand, comparatively higher doses of theobromine and caffeine disrupted the well established avoidance response. Thus, the avoidance rate was significantly decreased by theobromine (100 mg/kg and more) and caffeine (30 mg/kg and more) under the lever-press situation, and by theobromine (100 mg/kg and more) and caffeine (100 mg/kg) under the shuttle situation. These dose effect relationships revealed that cocoa contains about 1% theobromine. The present results indicate that we may receive the CNS action of theobromine through consumption of theobromine-containing foodstuffs or beverages in our every day life.

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