Dopamine mediated antidepressant effect of Mucuna pruriens seeds in various experimental models of depression

Ayu. 2014 Jan;35(1):90-7. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.141949.


Background: The effects of antidepressant treatments have traditionally been discussed primarily in terms of effects on noradrenergic and serotonergic systems. Multiple lines of investigation have also explored the role of dopaminergic systems in mental depression. Seed of Mucuna pruriens Linn. (DC) (Leguminoseae) is well-known with dopaminergic action and has several therapeutic applications in folk medicine in curing or managing a wide range of diseases including Parkinsonism.

Aim: To elucidate the anti-depressent profile and possible dopaminergic modulating action of M. pruriens seeds in various experimental models of depression.

Materials and methods: In the present study, antidepressant effect of the hydroalcoholic extract of the M. pruriens seeds (MPE) (100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) was investigated in the Forced Swimming Test (FST), Tail Suspension Test (TST), and Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress (CUMS) test in mice. Further, dopaminergic interaction of same doses of MPE in the FST and TST were checked by the administration of a haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.) and bromocriptine (2 mg/kg, i.p.) on the 7(th) day of MPE treatment. Effect of MPE on locomotor activity was also checked using actophotometer.

Results: MPE produced a significant reduction of the immobility time in the FST and TST. Further, antidepressant action of MPE was significantly inhibited by haloperidol and potentiated by bromocriptine in the FST and TST. 21 days of MPE treatment produced protection in CUMS as indicated by a significant increase of sucrose intake of stressed mice. Locomotor activities of mice were not significantly changed after 1 h and 7(th) day of the MPE treatment.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that hydroalcoholic extract of MPE have antidepressant action, which may be mediated by an interaction with the dopaminergic system.

Keywords: Chronic mild stress test; Mucuna pruriens; forced swimming test; tail suspension test.