Guarana, a herbal extract from the seeds of Paullinia cupana Mart. has been evaluated in comparison with caffeine on mouse behaviour in forced swimming and open field tests. Guarana (25 and 50 mg/kg, p.o.) and caffeine (10 and 20 mg/kg, p.o.) each significantly reduced the duration of immobility in the forced swimming test suggesting an antidepressant-like effect in mice. At these doses, neither substance affected ambulation in the open field test. However, a high dose of guarana (100 mg/kg) and caffeine (30 mg/kg) significantly enhanced the locomotor activity in the open field test. Caffeine, but not guarana, could effectively block an adenosine agonist, cyclopentyl adenosine (CPA)-induced increase in swimming immobility suggesting that mechanism(s) other than the adenosinergic mechanism are involved in the antidepressant-like activity of guarana.
Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.