Anticonvulsant effects of aerial parts of Passiflora incarnata extract in mice: involvement of benzodiazepine and opioid receptors

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Aug 8:7:26. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-7-26.


Background: Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) is used in traditional medicine of Europe and South America to treat anxiety, insomnia and seizure. Recently, it has shown antianxiety and sedative effects in human.

Methods: In this study, anticonvulsant effects of hydro- alcoholic extract of Passiflora, Pasipay, were examined by using pentylentetrazole model (PTZ) on mice. Pasipay, diazepam, and normal saline were injected intraperitoneally at the doses 0.4-0.05 mg/kg, 0.5-1 mg/kg and 10 ml/kg respectively 30 minutes before PTZ (90 mg/kg, i.p). The time taken before the onset of clonic convulsions, the duration of colonic convulsions, and the percentage of seizure and mortality protection were recorded. For investigating the mechanism of Pasipay, flumazenil (2 mg/kg, i.p) and naloxone (5 mg/kg, i.p) were also injected 5 minutes before Pasipay.

Results: An ED50 value of Pasipay in the PTZ model was 0.23 mg/kg (%95 CL: 0.156, 0.342). Pasipay at the dose of 0.4 mg/kg prolonged the onset time of seizure and decreased the duration of seizures compared to saline group (p < 0.001). At the dose of 0.4 mg/kg, seizure and mortality protection percent were 100%. Flumazenil and naloxone could suppress anticonvulsant effects of Pasipay.

Conclusion: It seems that Pasipay could be useful for treatment absence seizure and these effects may be related to effect of it on GABAergic and opioid systems. More studies are needed in order to investigate its exact mechanism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Antidotes / administration & dosage
  • Convulsants
  • Diazepam / administration & dosage
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Epilepsy, Absence / drug therapy*
  • Flumazenil / administration & dosage
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Naloxone / administration & dosage
  • Narcotic Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Passiflora*
  • Pentylenetetrazole
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Components, Aerial
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, GABA-A / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Opioid / drug effects*
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidotes
  • Convulsants
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Receptors, Opioid
  • Naloxone
  • Flumazenil
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Diazepam
  • Pentylenetetrazole