Psychopharmacological Profile of Hydroalcoholic Extract and P-Hydroxybenzoic Acid Obtained from Bourreria huanita (Boraginaceae) in Mice


Bourreria huanita (Lex.) Hemsl. (Boraginaceae) is a very rare and highly appreciated tree in Mesoamerica for its medicinal properties and beauty. It grows in a region extending from central Mexico to Costa Rica. Ethnobotanical surveys have shown that the infusion of dried flowers is popularly used as a tranquilizer to cure several diseases. In the present study we report the isolation of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (pHBZ) obtained from the hydroalcoholic extract (HE) of B. huanita, and the effect of both, the extract and the compound on the central nervous system in mice. HE of B. huanita (100, 150, 300 mg/kg) and pHBZ (10 mg/kg) were orally administered to mice and 1 h later, behavioral tests were performed. The effects of HE and pHBZ were tested by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) and strychnine (STR) induced seizures, pentobarbital-induced hypnosis, the forced swimming test and the tail suspension test, the elevated plus maze, apomorphine-induced stereotypy and the climbing test, the inhibitory avoidance test and the open-field test. B. huanita extract produced hypnotic, anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in animals, with no change in motor performance. On the other hand, the extract did not reduce PTZ and STR-induced convulsions, apomorphine-induced stereotypy or climbing. Moreover, no changes were observed in the animals’ memory. The compound pHBZ was effective only in the depression tests. The results obtained in the present study suggest that B. huanita exhibited sedative, antidepressant and hypnotic activities in mice, and that the antidepressant activity may be mediated by an isolated compound identified as pHBZ.

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Holzmann, I. , Cattani, D. , Corso, M. , Perondi, D. , Zanella, S. , Burger, C. , Júnior, L. , Filho, V. , Cruz, S. , Torres, M. , Cáceres, A. and Souza, M. (2014) Psychopharmacological Profile of Hydroalcoholic Extract and P-Hydroxybenzoic Acid Obtained from Bourreria huanita (Boraginaceae) in Mice. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 5, 983-995. doi: 10.4236/pp.2014.511110.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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