Essential Oil and Linalool Counteract Social Aversion Induced by Social Defeat.
Molecules. 2018 Oct 19 ;23(10). Epub 2018 Oct 19. PMID: 30347669
Many vegetable extracts, essential oils, and their main constituents are active on the Central Nervous System (CNS). In fact, they have been used as sedatives, hypnotics, or tranquilizers for their activity in treating CNS disorders. In this research, we studied the possible activities of(LA) essential oil and of its main constituent, linalool, as anti-stress compounds on anxiety and social interaction and their in vitro effects on proteins (pERK and PKA) involved in the transmission of the signal. An acute intraperitoneal injection of linalool (100 mg/kg) and of LA essential oil (200 mg/kg) reduced motor activity without any anxiolytic effect, but significantly increased social interaction. Stressed mice, after being exposed to a social defeat encounter, showed heightened anxiety and social avoidance. Acute administration of LA essential oil blocked stress-induced anxiety, while linalool showed no effects. However, both compounds were capable of reversing social aversion, acting as antidepressant agents. Our results showed that linalool inhibits pERK and PKA expression in the SH-SY5Y cell, but no effect was detected with the LA essential oil. Therefore, the LA essential oil and linalool may be considered as useful alternative tools to the available traditional treatments for social stress-induced mental illnesses.