Breviscapine Ameliorates Fear Extinction and Anxiety in BALB/cJ Mice

Psychiatry Investig. 2023 Mar;20(3):205-211. doi: 10.30773/pi.2022.0167. Epub 2023 Mar 22.


Objective: In this research, the influence of breviscapine on anxiety, fear elimination, and aggression and the potential mechanism was investigated.

Methods: Anxiety and locomotion were analyzed by elevated plus maze and open field test in mice. Bussey-Saksida Mouse Touch Screen Chambers were used to perform fear conditioning. Territorial aggression was assessed by resident intruder test. Protein levels were evaluated by Western blot. Breviscapine improved fear-extinction learning in BALB/cJ mice.

Results: Breviscapine at 20-100 mg/kg increased center cross number, total distance traveled, and velocity in a dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, breviscapine at 20-100 mg/kg decreased the immobility time in open field test. In addition, breviscapine at 20-100 mg/kg increased the ratio of time on the open arm, time on the distal parts of the open arm, and total distance traveled in elevated plus maze. Breviscapine at 100 mg/kg increased the average attack latency and decreased the number of attacks over the last 3 days of resident intruder test. In hippocampus, protein levels of postsynaptic density protein-95 and synaptophysin were elevated by breviscapine at these three doses.

Conclusion: The administration of breviscapine alleviates fear extinction, anxiety, and aggression, while increases locomotor in a dose-dependent manner, which might be associated with its influence on synaptic function.

Keywords: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; BALB/cJ mice; Breviscapine; Conduct disorder; Fear extinction.