Antidepressant-like activity of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. in mouse models of immobility tests

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2006 May;30(3):449-54. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2005.11.019. Epub 2006 Jan 27.


The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of aqueous extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Family: Fabaceae), popularly known as liquorice, on depression in mice using forced swim test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST). The extract of G. glabra (75, 150, and 300 mg/kg) was administered orally for 7 successive days in separate groups of Swiss young male albino mice. The dose of 150 mg/kg of the extract significantly reduced the immobility times of mice in both FST and TST, without any significant effect on locomotor activity of mice. The efficacy of extract was found to be comparable to that of imipramine (15 mg/kg i.p.) and fluoxetine (20 mg/kg i.p.). Liquorice extract reversed reserpine-induced extension of immobility period of mice in FST and TST. Sulpiride (50 mg/kg i.p.; a selective D2 receptor antagonist) and prazosin (62.5 microg/kg i.p.; an alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonist) significantly attenuated the extract-induced antidepressant-like effect in TST. On the other hand, p-chlorophenylalanine (100 mg/kg i.p.; an inhibitor of serotonin synthesis) did not reverse antidepressant-like effect of liquorice extract. This suggests that antidepressant-like effect of liquorice extract seems to be mediated by increase of brain norepinephrine and dopamine, but not by increase of serotonin. Monoamine oxidase inhibiting effect of liquorice may be contributing favorably to the antidepressant-like activity. Thus, it is concluded that liquorice extract may possess an antidepressant-like effect.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use
  • Hindlimb Suspension / methods
  • Immobility Response, Tonic / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Swimming / physiology


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Fluoxetine