Life sciences

Anxiolytic-like effect of danshensu [(3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-lactic acid)] in mice.

PMID 24582592


Danshensu [3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-lactic acid], a phenylpropanoid compound isolated from Prunella vulgaris var. lilacina, is a well-known antioxidant. Although its antioxidant activity and cardioprotective effect have been reported, the pharmacological properties of danshensu in the central nervous system remain unclear. We investigated whether danshensu exerts anxiolytic-like activity in mice. We conducted monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) inhibition assay on danshensu in vitro, and behavioral tests including the elevated plus-maze test (EPM), the hole-board test, the rotarod test and the open field test were employed. We found that danshensu significantly inhibited the activity of MAO-A in vitro. The administration of danshensu (3 or 10mg/kg) produced a significant anxiolytic-like effect in the EPM and hole-board test. In addition, no changes in the spontaneous locomotor activity and no myorelaxant effects were observed compared to the control group; these effects were confirmed with the open field test and the rotarod test. Moreover, the anxiolytic-like properties of danshensu were antagonized by a dopamine D1 receptor antagonist (SCH 23390) but not by a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist (WAY 100635) or an α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist (prazosin). These results indicate that danshensu exerts its anxiolytic-like properties, in part, through dopaminergic neurotransmitter signaling.