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Effect of blackberry juice (Rubus fruticosus L.) on anxiety-like behaviour in Wistar rats

The present study evaluated the effects of blackberry juice that is rich in different concentrations of anthocyanins and polyphenols (2.6 mg/kg anthocyanins, 14.57 mg/kg polyphenols; 5.83 mg/kg anthocyanins, 27.10 mg/kg polyphenols; 10.57 mg/kg anthocyanins, 38.40 mg/kg polyphenols) on anxiety-like behaviour in Wistar rats. The rats were treated with blackberry juice for 21 days and then tested in the elevated plus maze, locomotor activity test and forced swim test. The results were compared with a reference anxiolytic drug diazepam (2.0 mg/kg) and vehicle (8.7 ml/kg).The intermediate dose of blackberry juice exerted an anxiolytic-like effect that was similar todiazepam, without affecting locomotive activity. The low and high doses of blackberry juice exerted no significant effects on anxiety-like behaviour compared with vehicle. In the forced swim test, both the high and intermediate doses of blackberry juice reduced total immobility time, suggesting a protective effect against behavioural changes that are induced by acute stress. These findings suggest a potential therapeutic effect of blackberry juice on anxiety that is associated with a stressful even