ArticlePDF Available

Evaluation of anti-depressant effect of lemon grass ( Cymbopogon citratus ) in albino mice

Print ISSN 2319-2003 | Online ISSN 2279-0780
doi: 10.5455/2319-2003.ijbcp20140817
IJBCP International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology | July-August 2014 | Vol 3 | Issue 4 Page 656
Research Article
Evaluation of anti-depressant effect of lemon grass
(Cymbopogon citratus) in albino mice
Sujata Dudhgaonkar, Manali Mahajan*, Swapnil Deshmukh, Pallavi Admane, Huma Khan
Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common
mental illnesses, each affecting in excess of 10-15% of
the population at some time in their lives. Both anxiety
and depressive disorders are amenable to pharmacological
treatments that have been developed since 1950s. The last
half century has seen notable advances in the discovery and
development of drugs for treating anxiety and depression.1
The current therapy includes monoamine oxidase inhibitors
(MAOI) (tranylcypromine, clorgyline, moclobemide)
tricyclics and related compounds (imipramine, amitryptyline,
desipramine, fluoxetine, and fluoxamine). However,
the typical anti-depressants are some of the most toxic
psychopharmacological agents.2 They produce unusual
side-effects such as MAOIs-insomnia, hypotension,
anorgasmia, weight gain, hypertensive crisis, and tyramine
cheese reaction. Tricyclic anti-depressants-anti-cholinergic
side-effects (dry mouth, tachycardia, constipation, urinary
retention, and blurred vision), sweating, tremor, postural
hypotension, cardiac conduction delay, sedation, weight
gain. Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors-headache,
nausea, other gastro intestinal effects, jitteriness, insomnia,
and sexual dysfunction.3
Since depressive disorders have a tremendous impact on
our lives, it is worth evaluating the alternative forms of
medicines which are better tolerated, more efcacious and
cost-effective like herbal products. Herbal medicine is a
major component in all indigenous peoples’ tradition, a
common element in ayurvedic, homeopathic, naturopathic,
traditional, oriental and native American Indian medicine.
Cymbopogon citratus, commonly known as lemon grass,
is a tropical plant from Southeast Asia, which is often sold
in stem form. It contains various active principles like
myrcene, citrondiol, citronellol, citronellal, and geraniol
Background: Depression is a common serious psychiatric disorder and the available
anti-depressant treatments are associated with many unwanted side-effects. Thus,
various herbal products have been tried. The advantages of herbal treatments would
include its complementary nature to the conventional treatment, thus making the latter
a safer and cheaper option for depressive disorders. The objective of the present study
was to evaluate the anti-depressant activity of lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
in albino mice and compare it with Imipramine.
Methods: A total of 60 Swiss albino mice weighing around 20-40 g of either sex
were divided into 10 groups (n=6). They were orally administered with tween 80,
as a control, 20 mg/kg imipramine (standard), 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg C. citratus
(test drugs), and combination of imipramine (10 mg/kg) and C. citratus (10 mg/kg).
Duration of immobility was observed for last 4 mins of total 6 mins period in
groups 1-5 for forced swimming test (porsolt test) and groups 6-10 for tail suspension
test each on 1st, 8th and 15th day and recorded as mean±standard error of the
mean. Results were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance, followed by Tukey’s
post-hoc test.
Results: Lemon grass at the above doses signicantly reduced the immobility time
in both the tests compared with the control (<0.05). The reduction in the duration of
immobility at the dose of 10 mg/kg was comparable to imipramine.
Conclusions: The essential oil of lemon grass (C. citratus) has signicant anti-
depressant activity comparable to imipramine.
Keywords: Anti-depressant, Imipramine, Cymbopogon citratus
Department of Pharmacology,
IGGMC, Nagpur,
Maharashtra, India
Received: 23 May 2014
Accepted: 10 June 2014
*Correspondence to:
Dr. Manali M. Mahajan,
Email: manali1988_
© 2014 Dudhgaonkar S et al.
This is an open-access article
distributed under the terms
of the Creative Commons
Attribution Non-Commercial
License, which permits
unrestricted non-commercial
use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is
properly cited.
Dudhgaonkar S et al. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Aug;3(4):656-660
International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology | July-August 2014 | Vol 3 | Issue 4 Page 657
which impart various actions and benets, making the
plant multifunctional. Extracts of both leaves and stalks
are used as herbal medicine to treat nervous conditions and
Traditional Indian medicine employs lemon grass for fever,
infection and sedation (Lawless, 1995). It is also commonly
used as an antitusive, anti-rheumatic, anti-septic agent,
an insecticide and food flavoring agent (Julia, 1992).
In the Malay Peninsula, C. citratus is recommended in
folk medicine for common colds, pneumonia and gastric
problems (Carlini et al., 1986). In Brazil, it is used in
folk medicine for nervous conditions or gastro intestinal
disturbances (Carlini et al., 1986; Suzana et al., 2001).
In Thai, it is used in the treatment of fever, irregular
menstruation, diarrhea and digestive problems. It is also
used in Central and South America for nervous conditions
and helps to regulate blood pressure (Lawless et al., 1995;
Blumenthal, 1998).
Our study was aimed at studying the anti-depressant action
of C. citratus and to compare it with the conventional anti-
depressants available namely Imipramine. Studies proving
this use of C. citratus are lacking and needs attention since
depression is a growing problem of the modern world and
use of indigenous medicines is welcome in its treatment.
Aims and objectives
1. To evaluate the anti-depressant activity of C. citratus
in albino mice.
2. To compare the anti-depressant activity of C. citratus
and imipramine in albino mice.
3. To compare the anti-depressant activity of:
a. Combination of C. citratus and imipramine with
imipramine alone
b. Combination of C. citratus and imipramine with
C. citratus alone.
This study was conducted over a period of 15 days in the
following manner.
Sixty Swiss albino mice of either sex weighing around
20-40 g were used. They were supplied from nearby
Government Medical College. They were maintained under
standard laboratory conditions (22±3°C, 12 hr light/dark
cycle) supplied with standard pellet food and water given
ad libitum in Government Medical college animal house.
The animals were cared in accordance with the guidelines
provided by the CPCSEA and the Institutional Ethics
Committee approved the entire study.
Plant extracts preparation
The plant was obtained from local ayurvedic college and
following processing was done in pharmacology Department
of Government Medical college.
The plant was dried and nely powdered. 100 g of this
powder was soaked in 500 ml distilled water for 72 hrs.
This mixture was ltered with sterile Whitman’s no 1 lter
paper. The ltrate obtained was stored in refrigerator at
4°C until required. This aqueous ltrate was freeze dried to
reconstitute the extract into powdered form.5
Imipramine hydrochloride is used as a standard in the dose of
20 mg/kg, administered by the oral route. Tween 80 is used
as the control in the dose of 0.1 ml/10 g (1%) administered
by oral route.
General procedure
The mice were divided into10 groups of six each as follows.
1. Group 1: Tween 80
2. Group 2: Imipramine 20 mg/kg
3. Group 3: C. citratus 5 mg/kg
4. Group 4: C. citratus 10 mg/kg
5. Group 5: Combination of C. citratus 10 mg/kg and
imipramine 10 mg/kg
6. Group 6: Tween 80
7. Group 7: Imipramine 20 mg/kg
8. Group 8: C. citratus 5 mg/kg
9. Group 9: C. citratus 10 mg/kg
10. Group 10: Combination of C. citratus 10 mg/kg and
Imipramine 10 mg/kg.
Drug or C. citratus extracts are orally administered to the
mice according to the group they belong to. After 1hr of oral
administration, they were subjected to the following tests:
Group 1 to 5 were subjected to forced swimming test.
Group 6 to 10 were subjected to tail suspension test.
Forced swimming test
The adult mice are forced to swim in a cylinder (40×18 cm)
with no escape. The mice become immobile after an initial
struggling phase. Duration of immobility was observed for
last 4 mins of total 6 mins period on day 1, 8 and 15.
Tail suspension test
Mice are rendered immobile by suspending from tail using
an adhesive tape which is applied at the point, which is three-
fourth of the distance from the base of the mouse’s tail. Its
nostril touches the water surface in a container. Initially the
animal tries to escape by making vigorous movements, but
is unable to escape and becomes immobile. The period of
immobility during the last 4 mins of total 6 mins period is
observed on day 1, 8 and 15.
Dudhgaonkar S et al. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Aug;3(4):656-660
International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology | July-August 2014 | Vol 3 | Issue 4 Page 658
Statistical analysis
All data were subjected to one-way analysis of variance
using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
18.0 software and in between groups were compared using
Tukey’s post-hoc test. p≤0.05 was considered as statistically
Duration of immobility in the last 4 mins of the 6 mins
duration of both the tests are recorded as mean±standard
error of the mean on days 1, 8, and 15.
Forced swimming test (Table 1)
1) On day 1: There is no signicant reduction in the
duration of immobility in any group when compared
to the control.
2) On day 8: Signicant reduction (p≤0.05) in the duration
of immobility is observed in Groups 2 and 3 when
compared to 1. Highly signicant reduction (p≤0.01)
in duration of immobility seen in Groups 4 and 5.
3) On day 15: There is signicant reduction in duration
of immobility in all groups compared to 1. Group 2
reduces duration of immobility more than Group 3 and
Group 5, but less than Group 4. Group 3 is inferior to
Group 4 and 5. Group 4 is more effective than 5 in
reducing duration of immobility. Group 2, 4, and 5 are
Tail suspension test (Table 2)
1. On day 1: No significant reduction in duration of
immobility in all the groups.
2. On day 8: No significant reduction in duration of
immobility in any group. Compared with day 1, day 8
showed reduction in duration of immobility in all groups
except group 6.
3. On day 15: Group 7 and 9 showed highly signicant
reduction in duration of immobility than Group 6.
Group 7 showed more reduction in the duration of
immobility than Group 8, but less than Group 9.
Reduction in duration of immobility was maximum on
day 15 compared to day 1 and 8.
Major depressive disorder is a mental disorder common in
psychiatric practice wherein a patient presents with at least
one of two major symptoms, constant sadness or anhedonia,
accompanied by at least ve secondary symptoms for at
least 2 weeks.5 The secondary symptoms include feelings
of worthlessness, difculty in concentrating, changes in diet
and sleep patterns. It is a relapsing, remitting illness having
>40% rate of recurrence over a 2 year period.6
Depression is multifactorial in origin. The various factors
include familial factors, early life events, neuro-endocrine
changes and genetics. The role of oxidative stress as a patho-
physiological mechanism in depression, can be explained by
the concept, sometimes referred to as the “oxygen paradox,”
that while oxygen is essential for aerobic life, excessive
amounts of its free radical metabolic by-products are toxic.7
These free radicals play integral roles in cellular signaling,
physiological immunogenic responses and mitosis. However,
being highly unstable molecules with unpaired electron they
have differential oxidative strengths and hence potential to
damage cellular proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic
Table 1: Forced swimming test.
Day Group
1 (Tween 80) 2 (imipramine
20 mg/kg)
3 (C. citratus
5 mg/kg)
4 (C. citratus
10 mg/kg)
5 (imipramine 10 mg/kg+
C. citratus 10 mg/kg)
Day 1 140.37±3.79 134.5±3.79 137.33±3.79 134.83±3.79 136.0±3.79
Day 8 139.1±4.86 113.12±4.86* 116.5±4.86* 114.0±4.86** 110.5±4.86**
Day 15 130.67±3.89 85.57±3.89*** 97.33±3.89*** 83.5±3.89*** 86.5±3.89***
Least square mean ± standard error of mean. C. citratus: Cymbopogon citratus
Table 2: Tail suspension test.
Day Group
6 (Tween 80) 7 (imipramine
20 mg/kg)
8 (C. citratus
5 mg/kg)
9 (C. citratus
10 mg/kg)
10 (imipramine 10 mg/kg+
C. citratus 10 mg/kg)
Day 1 205.17±5.79 210.5±5.79 214.1±5.79 202.83±5.79 204.17±5.79
Day 8 196.5±7.11 170.67±7.11 185.83±7.11 171.83±7.11 184.33±7.11
Day 15 196.67±8.23 150.1±8.23** 163.17±8.23 149.33±8.23** 160.17±8.23
Least square mean ± standard error of mean, Not signicant: p > 0.05, Signicant: p ≤ 0.05*, Highly signicant: p ≤ 0.01**, Extremely
signicant: p ≤ 0.001***. C. citratus: Cymbopogon citratus
Dudhgaonkar S et al. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Aug;3(4):656-660
International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology | July-August 2014 | Vol 3 | Issue 4 Page 659
Under physiological conditions, multiple tiers of defense
exist to protect against these free radicals, including the
restriction of their production through the maintenance of
a high oxygen gradient between the ambient and cellular
environments, their removal by non-enzymatic and
enzymatic anti-oxidants, and the reparation of oxidative
damages by structural repair and replacement mechanisms.9
Oxidative stress occurs when red-ox homeostasis is tipped
towards an overbalance of free radicals, due to either their
over production or deciencies in anti-oxidant defense.10 The
resultant cellular damage may range from cellular structural
damage to mitotic arrest, to apoptosis and cell necrosis,
depending on the level of oxidative stress severity.11 The
major classes of free radicals in living organisms are the
reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, which are
respective collective terms for oxygen and nitrogen derived
radicals, as well as some non-radicals that readily convert
into radicals.12 A possible mechanism of anti-depressant
action of lemon grass is the attenuation of this oxidative
stress by monoterpenes and polyphenols present in it.
The present study evaluated the anti-depressant activity
of aqueous extracts of C. citratus in two different animal
models, tail suspension test and forced swim test. Both the
models are widely used for screening anti-depressant drugs.
There is a signicant correlation between the potency of anti-
depressants in both the tests and clinical potency of the drugs.
C. citratus at doses of 5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg and in combination
with Imipramine showed signicant reduction in the duration
of immobility in both the tests as compared to control, thus
proving that it has signicant anti-depressant activity.
C. citratus alone in the dose of 10 mg/kg is comparable to
imipramine 20 mg/kg and is more effective alone than it’s
combination with Imipramine 10 mg/kg.
Furthermore, there was no signicant reduction in duration
of immobility in all the groups on the rst day, but there
was signicant reduction on both days 8 and 15, more on
day 15 when compared to day 8. This implies that chronic
administration of C. citratus has anti-depressant activity.
Exact mechanisms underlying the anti-depressant action
cannot be concluded at the moment due to the presence
of a large number of phytochemicals in lemon grass oil.
C. citratus grass contains about 0.4 % of volatile oil and
that the oil contains 65-85% of citral and the concentration
of citral depend on the geographical area grown (Carbajal
et al., 1989). Apart from citral, lemon grass oil also contains
geraniol, myrcene, citronellal, citronellol, citronelyl,
limonene, linalool and dipentene (Torres, 1996). The leaves
also contain avones like luteolin and its 7-O-β–Glucoside
and 7-O-neohesperiodoside, iso-orientin and 2-O-rhamnosyl
iso-orientin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid p-coumaric
acid, fructose, sucrose, octacosanol and triacontanol
(De Matouschek, 1991). The gas chromatography-mass
spectrometry spectra of the essential oil separated by
Tognolini et al., (2006) from leaves of C. citratus by steam
distillation shows the occurrence of various compounds at
different percentages like methyl-5-hepten-2-one-0.43%,
myrcene - 15.48%, linalool - 1.28%, neral - 32.28%,
geraniol - 3.35%, geranial - 41.28%.
They have also observed that percentage composition of
non-oxygenated monoterpenes as 15.48%, oxygenated
monoterpenes as 78.19% and hydrocarbons as 0.43%. The
availability of avonoids like luteolin and 6-C-glucoside
has also been explained by Negrelle and Gomes, (2007).
It’s anti-depressant activity may be attributed to the presence
of 1,2 acetate of citronelyl. This action is mediated by
an interaction with the noradrenergic system. However,
interactions with other monoaminergic systems need to
be investigated to assess that this plant can be alternative
therapeutic approach in depression.13
Thus, C. citratus is multifunctional and the present
work, though of preliminary nature is concentrated on
its anti-depressant activity. Further elaborate research
work involving more numbers of animals and different
experimental models of anti-depressant activity are needed
to elucidate the exact molecular and biochemical mechanism
of action to develop more effective compound.
Funding: No funding sources
Conict of interest: None declared
Ethical approval: The study was approved by the Institutional
Animal Ethics Committee
1. O’Donnell MJ, Shelton CR. Drug therapy of depression
and anxiety disorders. Goodman and Gilman’s. The
Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 12th Edition,
Chapter 15. New York: McGraw Hill; 2011: 397.
2. Gupta SK. Antidepressant agents. Drug Screening Methods
(Preclinical Evaluation of New Drugs). 2nd Edition.
New Delhi: Jaypee; 2009: 27, 392.
3. Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Kasper D, Hauser S, Longo D,
Jameson J, et al., editors. Harrison’s Principles of Internal
Medicine. 17th Edition. New York: McGraw Hill Medical;
2008: 2717-8.
4. Nyarko DH, Barku YV. Batama J. Antimicrobial
examinations of Cymbopogon citratus and adiatum capillus
veneris used in ghanaian folkoric medicine. Int J Life Sci
Pharm Res 2012;2(2):L115-8.
5. American Psychiatric Association. DSM-IV TR. Washington,
D.C. APA; 2000 with permission as reproduced in Sadock BJ,
Sadock VA, editors. Synopsis of Psychiatry. 9th Edition.
New York: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2003: 542.
6. Solomon DA, Keller MB, Leon AC, Mueller TI, Lavori PW,
Shea MT, et al. Multiple recurrences of major depressive
disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2000;157(2):229-33.
7. Davies KJ. Oxidative stress: the paradox of aerobic life.
Biochem Soc Symp.1995;61:1-31.
8. Filomeni G, Ciriolo MR. Redox control of apoptosis: an
update. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2006;8(11-12):2187-92.
Dudhgaonkar S et al. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Aug;3(4):656-660
International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology | July-August 2014 | Vol 3 | Issue 4 Page 660
9. Davies KJ. Oxidative stress, antioxidant defenses, and
damage removal, repair, and replacement systems. IUBMB
Life. 2000;50(4-5):279-89.
10. Sies H. Oxidative stress: oxidants and antioxidants. Exp
Physiol. 1997;82(2):291-5.
11. Halliwell B. Oxidative stress and neurodegeneration: where
are we now? J Neurochem. 2006;97(6):1634-58.
12. Porsolt RD. Animal models of depression: utility for
transgenic research. Rev Neurosci. 2000;11(1):53-8.
13. McLeod TM, López-Figueroa AL, López-Figueroa MO.
Nitric oxide, stress, and depression. Psychopharmacol Bull.
doi: 10.5455/2319-2003.ijbcp20140817
Cite this article as: Dudhgaonkar S, Mahajan M,
Deshmukh S, Admane P, Khan H. Evaluation of
antidepressant effect of lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
in albino mice. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol 2014;3:656-60.
... The results of this present study revealed that C. citratus reverses the increased immobility time in mice exposed to SDS, which suggest a potential benefit in alleviation of depressive-like behaviors associated with chronic stress. Meanwhile, several studies have shown that the crude extract and essential oils of lemongrass demonstrated antidepressant activity in rodents (Umukoro et al., 2017;Dudhgaonkar, 2014). Besides, various bioactive compounds such as luteolin, isoscoparin, quercetin, kaempferol and apigenin found in C. citratus (Figueirinha et al., 2008;Yang et al., 2009) might be playing a role in its ability to improve depressive-like symptom in mice exposed to SDS. ...
Cymbopogon citratus aqueous leaf extract (CYC) otherwise known as lemongrass tea is used for achy joints (rheumatism) and central nervous system disorders in ethnomedicine. This study was designed to investigate the effects of CYC on neurobehavioral, oxidative, and inflammatory changes produced by complete Freund adjuvant (CFA) in male Swiss mice. The mice were allotted into 6 groups (n = 6). The animals in group 1 received saline (control), group 2 also had saline (CFA-control), groups 3–5 received CYC (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg), whereas group 6 were given celecoxib (20 mg/kg) orally for 14 consecutive days. Mice in groups 2–6 also received 0.1 mL injection of CFA (10 mg/mL) into the left hind paw 30 min earlier on day 1. The paw volumes were measured on days 0, 7, and 14. Neurobehavioral changes were evaluated on day 14. Thereafter, the left hind paw tissues were processed for estimation of malondialdehyde, nitrite, glutathione, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6 contents. The increase in paw volume and weight produced by CFA was reduced by CYC (p < 0.05). CYC attenuated postural instability, anxiety, depression, memory deficits, and nociceptive responses in CFA-mice. The CFA-induced increases in malondialdehyde and pro-inflammatory cytokines accompanied by decreased glutathione contents in mouse hind paw were attenuated by CYC (p < 0.05). The findings that CYC reduces inflammatory edema, neurological deficits, nociception, biomarkers of oxidative stress, and release of inflammatory cytokines in CFA-treated mice further supports its acclaimed benefit in arthritic pain in ethnomedicine.
... Free radicals and oxidative stress are involved in an important pathophysiological mechanism of depression (Davies 1995). C. citratus (10 mg/kg) was found more effective antidepressant when compared with standard Imipramine in albino mice (Dudhgaonkar et al. 2014). Antioxidant effects of C. citratus were observed in terms of increased liver glutathione content in paracetamol-treated animals (Saenthaweesuk et al. 2017). ...
Secondary metabolites (SMs) are known to have a wide range of therapeutic values. Large numbers of drugs are derived from these SMs. These naturally occurring SMs known to act as a potent source of antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and insecticidal agents. Aromatic plants are the prime source of variety of easily available SMs. Numerous classes of these SMs also act as powerful natural antioxidants. Antioxidants are the compounds that inhibit or slow down the oxidation of other molecules and help to cure the oxidative stress condition. Oxidative stress is the condition where the amount of free radicals in the body of organism exceeds the homeostatic balance of free radicals and indigenous antioxidant. This excess of free redials leads to various types of chain reactions that damage cells. These free radicals are the cause of more than hundred kinds of diseases in living beings. Cymbopogon is a genus of about 180 species of monocots grasses in a family of Poaceae (Gramineae). The species of genus Cymbopogon are rich source of naturally occurring antioxidants (such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, hydroquinone, terpenoids and fatty alcohols, etc.), and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates) is one of them. Further, the pharmacological applications of lemongrass are also well explored. Hence in the present chapter, we intend to discuss the botanical description, traditional uses, phytochemistry, antioxidant potential, health benefits, and potential economic importance of lemongrass.
... The leaves of Cymbopogon citratus are traditionally used as infusion or decoction for curing febrile conditions, gastrointestinal, vascular and nervous disorders (Carlini et al., 1986;de Albuquerque et al., 2007;Linck et al., 2010;Sagradas et al., 2015;Santin et al., 2009) and inflammatory-based ailments (Shah et al., 2011). Extracts prepared from the leaves were experimentally reported to exert anti-depressant (Dudhgaonkar et al., 2017) effects and its essential oil displayed acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity (Satish, 2013). Phenolics that reported in the plant, exhibited anti-inflammatory (Francisco et al., 2014;Garcia et al., 2015;Tiwari et al., 2010) and antioxidant (Adaramoye and Azeez, 2014;Figueirinha et al., 2008;Kanatt et al., 2014) effects. ...
... Several studies showed that lemongrass exhibited sedative, antispasmodic, analgesic and antiinflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-depressant, anti-amnesic, and anti-malarial effects [14], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21]. However, most of these studies focused on the essential oils, whereas the aqueous extract of the leaf, which represents the commonest preparation used in traditional medicine [15], was not extensively studied pharmacologically. ...
Background Anxiety is a common ailment of high co-morbidity with epilepsy, a chronic neurologic disease characterized by recurrent seizures. Current drugs used for these conditions have several limitations such as disabling side effects, relapse, and ineffectiveness in certain population necessitating the search for alternative options. The aqueous leaf extract of Cymbopogon citratus (CYC) is widely used for its various health-promoting effects including relief of seizures and anxiety in ethnomedicine. This present study describes its effects on convulsions, anxiety-like behaviors, and social interaction in mice. Methods Male Swiss mice were pretreated orally with CYC (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg), diazepam (1 mg/kg), or distilled water (10 mL/kg) 60 min before induction of convulsions with intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of picrotoxin (10 mg/kg), pentylenetetrazole (PTZ; 85 mg/kg), or isoniazid (300 mg/kg). The animals were then observed for the occurrence of seizure for 30 min or 2 h for isoniazid. The effects of CYC on anxiety-like behaviors, social interaction, and spontaneous motor activity (SMA) were evaluated in naive mice. Results CYC (25–100 mg/kg) did not prevent convulsions nor delay the latency to convulsions induced by picrotoxin, PTZ, or isoniazid. Pretreatment with CYC (50 and 100 mg/kg, p.o) produced anxiolytic-like effect, decreased SMA, and also enhanced social interaction behavior in naive mice. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that CYC did not exhibit an anticonvulsant property in mice injected with picrotoxin, PTZ, or isoniazid, but its anxiolytic-like activity and social interaction-promoting effect might be of benefit as an adjuvant in improving the quality of life of epileptic patients.
... It contains several biologically active compounds with various pharmacological activities such as antibacterial, anti-diarrheal, anti-filarial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties [10][11][12][13][14][15]. Moreover, previous studies have shown that C. citratus is safe for human consumption, as no toxic effects have been observed over the years as caffeine free tea and herbal drink [16,17]. Recently, C. citratus was shown to exhibit antidepressant activity in the force swimming and tail suspension tests in mice [18]. ...
Objectives Depression is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder, which affects the quality of life of the sufferers and treatment approach is associated with serious adverse effects and sometimes therapeutic failures. Cymbopogon citratus leaf (CC) has been reported to exert anti-depressant effect but its mechanism of action is yet to be elucidated hence, the need for this study. Methods The anti-depressant-like effect of Cymbopogon citratus aqueous leaf was evaluated using forced swim test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and yohimbine-induced lethality test (YLT) in aggregated mice. Interaction studies involving p-chlorophenylalanine (pCPA), an inhibitor of serotonin biosynthesis and yohimbine, α2-adrenergic receptor antagonist were carried out to evaluate the role of monoaminergic system in the anti-depressant-like effect of CC. The effect of CC on spontaneous motor activity (SMA) was also assessed using activity cage. Results Cymbopogon citratus (25 and 50 mg/kg, p.o.) demonstrated antidepressant-like activity devoid of significant stimulation of the SMA in mice. However, the antidepressant-like property of CC was significantly (p<0.05) attenuated by pretreatment with yohimbine suggesting involvement of noradrenergic pathway in the action of the extract. Also, pCPA reversed the anti-immobility effect of CC, indicating the role of serotonergic system in the mediation of its antidepressant activity. Moreover, CC (25 and 50 mg/kg) potentiated the lethal effect of yohimbine in aggregated mice, which further suggest the involvement of monoaminergic systems in its action. Conclusions The results of the study showed that C. citratus might be interacting with serotonergic and noradrenergic pathways to mediate its anti-depressant-like effect in mice.
... The aqueous extract of C. citratus was dissolved in distilled water immediately before use. The doses of 25, 50 and 100 mg/ kg of C. citratus used in the study were selected based information obtained from literature [17]. ...
Full-text available
Exposure to acute anoxic stress produces deleterious effects on the brain through the formation of oxidant molecules like reactive oxygen species. Thus, compounds with antioxidant property might demonstrate protective effect against the damaging effects of anoxic stress on brain cells. This study was carried out to evaluate the protective effect of Cymbopogon citratus, a medicinal plant with antioxidant property on convulsions induced by anoxic stress in mice. Male Swiss mice (20-22 g) were given C. citratus (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, p.o), Panax ginseng (50 mg/kg, p.o) or vehicle (10 mL/kg p.o). Thirty minutes later, the animals were exposed to anoxic stress and the latency (s) to convulsion (anoxic tolerance time) was measured. Thereafter, the blood glucose level was measured using glucometer. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) were also determined in the brain homogenates of mice subjected to anoxic stress. C. citratus (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, p.o) did not signifcantly (p > 0.05) delay the latency to anoxic convulsion and also failed to alter the brain concentrations of MDA and GSH in mice exposed to anoxic stress. However, C. citratus (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, p.o) caused a significant and dose-dependent reduction in the blood glucose levels in anoxic stressed mice. These findings suggest that C. citratus has neither protective effect against convulsive episodes nor alter oxidative stress parameters induced by acute anoxic stress in mice. The decrease in blood glucose produced by C. citratus in anoxic condition may be unconnected with normalization of deregulation of plasma glucose level during stress responses.
Full-text available
Objective Psychosocial stress has been implicated in the genesis of psychiatric disorders such as memory deficits, depression, anxiety and addiction. Aqueous leaf extract of Cymbopogon citratus (CYC) otherwise known as lemongrass tea has antidepressant, anxiolytic and anti-amnesic effects in rodents. This study was designed to evaluate if C. citratus could reverse the neurobehavioral and biochemical derangements induced by social defeat stress (SDS) in the resident/intruder paradigm. Methods Intruder male mice were divided into five groups (n = 7): group 1 received saline (10 mL/kg, p.o.; non-stress control), group 2 also received saline (10 mL/kg, p.o.; SDS control) while groups 3−5 had C. citratus (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) daily for 14 d. The SDS was carried out 30 min after each treatment from day 7 to day 14 by exposing each intruder mouse in groups 25 to a 10 min confrontation in the home cage of an aggressive resident counterpart. The neurobehavioral features (spontaneous motor activity-SMA, anxiety, memory, social avoidance and depression were then evaluated. The concentrations of nitrite, malondialdehyde and glutathione as well as acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain tissues were also determined. Results C. citratus (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) attenuated hypolocomotion, heightened anxiety, depressive-like symptom, memory deficit and social avoidance induced by SDS. The altered levels of oxidative stress and acetyl-cholinesterase in SDS-mice were positively modulated by C. citratus. Conclusion The results of this study suggest that C. citratus might mitigate psychosocial stress-induced neurologic diseases in susceptible individuals.
This study aimed to characterize different extracts/fractions obtained from Cymbopogon citratus according to their chemical composition and antioxidant properties. Plant leaves were submitted to extractions with different solvents, and the antioxidant capability of each fraction was analyzed using different methods (E1–E4). The ethyl acetate fraction from extraction procedure 1 (E1) presented a high polyphenolic content and antioxidant capability. Therefore, in E2, the pH of the aqueous phases was modified to fractionate the compounds in the ethyl acetate extractions. Interestingly, the fraction obtained at pH 4 presented a higher antioxidant activity than AcOEt F1. Furthermore, it was verified that the essential oil removal improved the extraction of polyphenols in ethyl acetate fractions. The antioxidant activity of these fractions was comparable to ascorbic acid, and could also inhibit TBARS production in phospholipids comparatively to vitamin E. Such fraction will be further explored to isolate the active chemicals, and to evaluate its toxicity and antioxidant actions in vivo.
Full-text available
The antimicrobial activity and Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of the extracts of Cymbopogon citratus and Adiatum capillus-veneris were evaluated against four bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and a fungus (Candida albicans). These plants are used in Ghanaian folk medicine to treat infections of microbial origin. The antibacterial and antifungal activities were tested using agar diffusion technique. The ethanol extracts of the two plants showed appreciable antimicrobial and antifungal activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumonia and Candida albicans with MIC of 0.78mg/ml and 12.5mg/ml for C. citratus and A. capillus-veneris respectively. However, the aqueous extract of Cymbopogon citratus showed no activity against the tested organs but that of Adiatum capillus-Veneris had activity against Proteus mirabilis and Klebsiella pneumonia. All the plants show different kinds of phytochemicals. The phytochemical investigation revealed the presence of sugars, flavanoids, triterpenoids, and steroids for A. capillus-veneris and flavonoids, anthraquinones, alkaloids, saponins, phenols and steroids for C.citratus. Statistical analysis using student t-test showed no statistical difference between MICs of the two plants and chloramphenicol.
Full-text available
The redox environment of the cell is currently thought to be extremely important to control cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis as many redox-sensitive proteins characterize these networks. A recent, widely accepted theory is that free radicals are not only dangerous species but, at low concentration, they have been designed by evolution to participate in the maintenance of cellular redox (reduction/oxidation) homeostasis. This notion derives from the evidence that cells constantly generate free radicals both as waste products of aerobic metabolism and in response to a large variety of stimuli. Free radicals, once produced, provoked cellular responses (redox regulation) against oxidative stress transducing the signals to maintain the cellular redox balance. Growing evidence suggests that in many instances the production of radical species is tightly regulated and their downstream targets are very specific, indicating that reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species actively participate in several cell-signalling pathways as physiological "second messengers." In this review, we provide a general overview and novel insights into the redox-dependent pathways involved in programmed cell death.
The paradox of aerobic life, or the 'Oxygen Paradox', is that higher eukaryotic aerobic organisms cannot exist without oxygen, yet oxygen is inherently dangerous to their existence. This 'dark side' of oxygen relates directly to the fact that each oxygen atom has one unpaired electron in its outer valence shell, and molecular oxygen has two unpaired electrons. Thus atomic oxygen is a free radical and molecular oxygen is a (free) bi-radical. Concerted tetravalent reduction of oxygen by the mitochondrial electron-transport chain, to produce water, is considered to be a relatively safe process; however, the univalent reduction of oxygen generates reactive intermediates. The reductive environment of the cellular milieu provides ample opportunities for oxygen to undergo unscheduled univalent reduction. Thus the superoxide anion radical, hydrogen peroxide and the extremely reactive hydroxyl radical are common products of life in an aerobic environment, and these agents appear to be responsible for oxygen toxicity. To survive in such an unfriendly oxygen environment, living organisms generate--or garner from their surroundings--a variety of water- and lipid-soluble antioxidant compounds. Additionally, a series of antioxidant enzymes, whose role is to intercept and inactivate reactive oxygen intermediates, is synthesized by all known aerobic organisms. Although extremely important, the antioxidant enzymes and compounds are not completely effective in preventing oxidative damage. To deal with the damage that does still occur, a series of damage removal/repair enzymes, for proteins, lipids and DNA, is synthesized. Finally, since oxidative stress levels may vary from time to time, organisms are able to adapt to such fluctuating stresses by inducing the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes and damage removal/repair enzymes. In a perfect world the story would end here; unfortunately, biology is seldom so precise. The reality appears to be that, despite the valiant antioxidant and repair mechanisms described above, oxidative damage remains an inescapable outcome of aerobic existence. In recent years oxidative stress has been implicated in a wide variety of degenerative processes, diseases and syndromes, including the following: mutagenesis, cell transformation and cancer; atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes and ischaemia/reperfusion injury; chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus and psoriatic arthritis; acute inflammatory problems, such as wound healing; photo-oxidative stresses to the eye, such as cataract; central-nervous-system disorders, such as certain forms of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, certain glutathione peroxidase-linked adolescent seizures, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's dementia; and a wide variety of age-related disorders, perhaps even including factors underlying the aging process itself. Some of these oxidation-linked diseases or disorders can be exacerbated, perhaps even initiated, by numerous environmental pro-oxidants and/or pro-oxidant drugs and foods. Alternatively, compounds found in certain foods may be able to significantly bolster biological resistance against oxidants. Currently, great interest centres on the possible protective value of a wide variety of plant-derived antioxidant compounds, particularly those from fruits and vegetables.
An imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favour of the oxidants, potentially leading to damage, is termed 'oxidative stress'. Oxidants are formed as a normal product of aerobic metabolism but can be produced at elevated rates under pathophysiological conditions. Antioxidant defense involves several strategies, both enzymatic and non-enzymatic. In the lipid phase, tocopherols and carotenes as well as oxy-carotenoids are of interest, as are vitamin A and ubiquinols. In the aqueous phase, there are ascorbate, glutathione and other compounds. In addition to the cytosol, the nuclear and mitochondrial matrices and extracellular fluids are protected. Overall, these low molecular mass antioxidant molecules add significantly to the defense provided by the enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidases.
The authors of this study examined multiple recurrences of unipolar major depressive disorder. A total of 318 subjects with unipolar major depressive disorder were prospectively followed for 10 years within a multicenter naturalistic study. Survival analytic techniques were used to examine the probability of recurrence after recovery from the index episode. The mean number of episodes of major depression per year of follow-up was 0. 21, and nearly two-thirds of the subjects suffered at least one recurrence. The number of lifetime episodes of major depression was significantly associated with the probability of recurrence, such that the risk of recurrence increased by 16% with each successive recurrence. The risk of recurrence progressively decreased as the duration of recovery increased. Within subjects, there was very little consistency in the time to recurrence. Major depressive disorder is a highly recurrent illness. The risk of the recurrence of major depressive disorder progressively increases with each successive episode and decreases as the duration of recovery increases.
The utility of available animal models of depression for transgenic research is reviewed. Criteria for usefulness are non-dependence on a mechanism of action, pharmacological validity, existence of genetic determinants, availability of a mouse version, procedural simplicity, and reproducibility. The following models are reviewed: behavioral despair, tail suspension, learned helplessness, chronic mild stress, olfactory bulbectomy, DRL behavior and conditioned place preference. It is concluded that the behavioral despair and tail suspension models satisfy the criteria most closely. On the other hand, despite its procedural complexity and poor reproducibility, the chronic mild stress model shows high promise for the future.
Oxidative stress is an unavoidable consequence of life in an oxygen-rich atmosphere. Oxygen radicals and other activated oxygen species are generated as by-products of aerobic metabolism and exposure to various natural and synthetic toxicants. The "Oxygen Paradox" is that oxygen is dangerous to the very life-forms for which it has become an essential component of energy production. The first defense against oxygen toxicity is the sharp gradient of oxygen tension, seen in all mammals, from the environmental level of 20% to a tissue concentration of only 3-4% oxygen. These relatively low tissue levels of oxygen prevent most oxidative damage from ever occurring. Cells, tissues, organs, and organisms utilize multiple layers of antioxidant defenses and damage removal, and replacement or repair systems in order to cope with the remaining stress and damage that oxygen engenders. The enzymes comprising many of these protective systems are inducible under conditions of oxidative stress adaptation, in which the expression of over 40 mammalian genes is upregulated. Mitotic cells have the additional defensive ability of entering a transient growth-arrested state (in the first stages of adaptation) in which DNA is protected by histone proteins, energy is conserved by diminished expression of nonessential genes, and the expression of shock and stress proteins is greatly increased. Failure to fully cope with an oxidative stress can switch mitotic cells into a permanent growth-arrested, senescence-like state in which they may survive for long periods. Faced with even more severe oxidative stress, or the declining protective enzymes and adaptive capacity associated with aging, cells may "sacrifice themselves" by apoptosis, which protects surrounding healthy tissue from further damage. Only under the most severe oxidative stress conditions will cells undergo a necrotic death, which exposes surrounding tissues to the further vicissitudes of an inflammatory immune response. This remarkable array of systems for defense; damage removal, replacement, and repair; adaptation; growth modulation; and apoptosis make it possible for us to enjoy life in an oxygen-rich environment.
Stress and depression have a significant impact on modern society. Even though their symptomatology is well characterized, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying these disturbing disorders. While the role of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), and arginine vasopressin (AVP) has been extensively studied, new evidence suggests a role for the unique neurotransmitter nitric oxide (NO). This highly diffusible and reactive molecule is synthesized by at least three enzyme subtypes of NO synthase (NOS). The commonly known neuronal NOS subtype is localized in areas of the brain related to stress and depression. The limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (LHPA) axis is the core of this system. These interrelated pathways have in common the production, and negative feedback, of glucocorticoids. Within these areas, NO is suggested to play a role in modulating the release of other neurotransmitters, acting as a cellular communicator in plasticity and development, and/or acting as a vasodilator in regulation of blood flow. This article summarizes some of the recent advances in the understanding of the role of NO in stress and depression.
The brain and nervous system are prone to oxidative stress, and are inadequately equipped with antioxidant defense systems to prevent 'ongoing' oxidative damage, let alone the extra oxidative damage imposed by the neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, increased oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, accumulation of oxidized aggregated proteins, inflammation, and defects in protein clearance constitute complex intertwined pathologies that conspire to kill neurons. After a long lag period, therapeutic and other interventions based on a knowledge of redox biology are on the horizon for at least some of the neurodegenerative diseases.