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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3932
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021


  • antidepressant activity
  • depression
  • monoamines
  • molecular docking
  • Spathodea campanulata


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