Anti-stress effect of astragaloside IV in immobilized mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 May 14;153(3):928-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.03.068. Epub 2014 Apr 5.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Astragaloside IV, a major component extracted from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus (AM), possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-fibrotic, anti-infarction and immunoregulatory effects. To clarify anti-stress effect of AM, anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory effects of 80% ethanol extract of AM and astragaloside IV were investigated in immobilization stress model.

Materials and methods: The mice were orally administered with AM (50, 200, and 500 mg/kg), astragaloside IV (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg) and buspirone, a positive drug, 1h before immobilization treated for 2h. For anxiolytic activity assay, EPM test was performed in mice. For anti-inflammatory activity assay, serum levels of corticosterone, IL-6 and TNF-α were measured using ELISA kits.

Results: AM extract and astragaloside IV increased dose-dependently time spent on open arms and open arm entries in the EPM test. Anxiolytic effects of AM extract (500 mg/kg) and astragaloside IV (20 mg/kg) were comparable to those of buspirone (1 mg/kg). Their anxiolytic effects were blocked by WAY-100635 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist (p<0.01), but not by flumazenil (3 mg/kg, i.p.) and bicuculline (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), GABAA receptor antagonists. AM extract and astragaloside IV also reduced serum levels of corticosterone, IL-6 and TNF-α dose-dependently.

Conclusions: AM, particularly astragaloside IV, may ameliorate immobilized stress-induced anxiety and inflammation.

Keywords: Anxiety; Astragaloside IV; Astragalus membranaceus; Immobilization stress; Inflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Saponins / pharmacology
  • Saponins / therapeutic use*
  • Stress, Psychological / blood
  • Stress, Psychological / drug therapy*
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology
  • Triterpenes / therapeutic use*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Interleukin-6
  • Saponins
  • Triterpenes
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • interleukin-6, mouse
  • astragaloside A
  • Corticosterone