The anxiolytic-like effects of puerarin are associated with the changes of monoaminergic neurotransmitters and biosynthesis of allopregnanolone in the brain.
Metab Brain Dis. 2018 Feb ;33(1):167-175. Epub 2017 Nov 3. PMID: 29101599
Anxiety disorder is a serious and burdensome psychiatric illness that frequently turn into chronic clinical conditions. Puerarin have been shown to be effective in the therapy of depression. However, few studies are concerned about the anxiolytic-like effects of puerarin. The current study aimed to evaluate the anxiolytic-like effects of puerarin and its possible mechanism. To evaluate this, the behavioral tests, i.e. Vogel-type conflict test (VTCT), elevated plus-maze test (EPMT), and open-field test (OFT) were conducted. Data showed that similar to the positive-control drug sertraline (Ser) (15 mg/kg, i.g.), the anxiolytic-like effects were produced by puerarin (60 and 120 mg/kg, i.g.) in VTCT and EMPT respectively without affecting locomotor activity in OFT. Moreover, the present study also found that consistent with Ser, the levels of allopregnanolone and serotonin (5-HT) in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were increased by puerarin (60 and 120 mg/kg, i.g.), respectively. In summary, the present study indicated that puerarin exerted the anxiolytic-like effects, which maybe associated with normalization of 5-HT levels and biosynthesis of allopregnanolone in brain.