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Antidepressant activity of aqueous extracts of Curcuma longa in mice

Curcuma longa (turmeric) is a well-known indigenous herbal medicine. The aqueous extracts, when administered orally to the mice from 140 to 560 mg/kg for 14 days, were able to elicit dose-dependent relation of immobility reduction in the tail suspension test and the forced swimming test in mice. The effects of the extracts at the dose of 560 mg/kg were more potent than that of reference antidepressant fluoxetine. The extracts, at the dose of 140 mg/kg or above for 14 days, significantly inhibited the monoamine oxidize A (MAO) activity in mouse whole brain at a dose-dependent manner, however, oral administration of the extract only at a dose of 560 mg/kg produced observable MAO B inhibitory activity in animal brain. Fluoxetine showed only a tendency to inhibit MAO A and B activity in animal brain in the study. Neither the extracts of C. longa nor fluoxetine, at the doses tested, produced significant effects on locomotor activity. These results demonstrated that C. longa had specifically antidepressant effects in vivo. The activity of C. longa in antidepression may mediated in part through MAO A inhibition in mouse brain.

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