Aim: Flowers of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn (Malvaceae) popularly known as "China-rose flowers" contain flavonoids. Flavonoids have been found to have antidepressant activity. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the antidepressant activity of flavonoids in H. rosa-sinensis flowers with possible involvement of monoamines.
Materials and methods: Anti-depressant activity of methanol extract containing anthocyanins (MHR) (30 and 100 mg/kg) and anthocyanidins (AHR) (30 and 100 mg/ kg) of H. rosa-sinensis flowers were evaluated in mice using behavioral tests such as tail suspension test (TST) and forced swim test (FST). The mechanism of action involved in antidepressant activity was investigated by observing the effect of extract after pre-treatment with low dose haloperidol, prazosin and para-chlorophenylalanine (p-CPA).
Results: Present study exhibited significant decrease in immobility time in TST and FST, similar to that of imipramine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) which served as a positive control. The extract significantly attenuated the duration of immobility induced by Haloperidol (50 μg/ kg, i.p., a classical D(2)-like dopamine receptor antagonist), Prazosin (62.5 μg/kg, i.p., an α(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist) and p-chlorophenylalanine (100 mg/kg, i.p., × 3 days; an inhibitor of serotonin synthesis) in both TST and FST.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that MHR and AHR possess potential antidepressant activity (through dopaminergic, noradrenergic and serotonergic mechanisms) and has therapeutic potential in the treatment of CNS disorders and provides evidence at least at preclinical levels.
Keywords: Anthocyanidins; dopamine; flavonoids; quercetin; serotonin.