Antidepressant activity of Spathodea campanulata in mice and predictive affinity of spatheosides towards type A monoamine oxidase

Jitendra Bajaj, Jaya Dwivedi, Ram Sahu, Vivek Dave, Kanika Verma, Sushil Joshi, Bhawana Sati, Swapnil Sharma, Veronique Seidel, Abhay Prakash Mishra


The antidepressant activity of Spathodea campanulata flowers was evaluated in mice and in silico. When tested at doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg, the methanol extract of S. campanulata (MESC) showed dose-dependent antidepressant activity in the force swim test (FST), tail suspension test (TST), lithium chloride-induced twitches test and the open field test. In FST and TST, animals treated with MESC demonstrated a significant decrease in the immobility period compared to the control group. The lithium chloride-induced head twitches were significantly reduced following administration of MESC. The latter, at the dose of 400 mg/kg, also significantly reduced locomotor activity. Following administration of MESC, changes in the levels of serum corticosterone, and of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylglycol (MHPG), 4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were measured in different brain regions using HPLC. The presence of spatheoside A (m/z 541) and spatheoside B (m/z 559) in MESC was detected using HPLC/ESI-MS. These two iridoids demonstrated a high predictive binding affinity for the active site of the type A monoamine oxidase (MAO-A) enzyme with scores of 99.40 and 93.54, respectively.  These data suggest that S. campanulata flowers warrants further investigation as a source of novel templates for antidepressive drugs.


Antidepressant activity; Depression; Monoamines; Molecular docking; Spathodea campanulata.

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