The aim of the present study was to investigate the pharmacological properties of the crude lyophilized extract (EBPC) of Paullinia cupana seeds (guaraná) and the semi-purified extracts (EPA and EPB) after acute or chronic administration by the oral route in rats. Anxiolytic-like, antidepressant-like and motor stimulant effects were evaluated using the plus maze (PMT), forced swimming (FST) and open field (OFT) tests, respectively. Acute or chronic administration of EBPC (3.0, 30.0 or 60.0 mg/kg) did not alter the percentage of entries or the time spent in the open arm in the PMT. In the FST, chronic treatment with 30.0 mg EBPC/kg and 4.0 mg EPA/kg extract decreased the immobility time similarly to the antidepressant reference drug, imipramine (20.0 mg/kg). Locomotor activity in the OFT was not increased by these extracts. Caffeine (10.0 mg/kg) significantly reduced the immobility time in the FST, but increased locomotor activity in the OFT, indicating psychostimulant activity. The EPB extract did not induce any effect after acute or chronic treatment in the different models used. The present results suggest that the crude EBPC extract and EPA extract produced an antidepressant-like effect after long-term administration.
(c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.