Objectives: We attempted to ascertain if bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids, liensinine and isoliensinine from Nelumbo nucifera Gaertner have antidepressant-like effects and compare the effects with those previously obtained by their analogue neferine.
Methods: Using mice, the forced swimming test (FST) was carried out after treatment with liensinine, isoliensinine and neferine.
Key findings: Liensinine and isoliensinine elicited antidepressant-like effects in mice after the FST. Anti-immobility effects of liensinine and isoliensinine were antagonized by the 5-hydroxytryptamine1 A (5-HT1 A ) receptor antagonist WAY 100635, but not by the α1 -adrenoceptor antagonist prazosin. The anti-immobility effects of liensinine, isoliensinine and neferine were blocked by pretreatment with p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA), which depletes serotonin (5-HT).
Conclusions: These data suggest that liensinine and isoliensinine from Nelumbo nucifera Gaertner have antidepressant-like effects and that antidepressant-like effects of liensinine and its analogues are closely related to serotonergic mechanisms.
Keywords: Liensinine; Nelumbo nucifera Gaertner; antidepressant-like effects; isoliensinine; neferine.
© 2015 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.