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Anxiogenic-like effects of Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC. aqueous extract in an elevated plus maze test in mice: a preliminary study

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of orally administered Uncaria tomentosa aqueous extracts (UTE) (Willd. ex Roem.&Schult.) DC. (Rubiaceae) during 7, 15, 30 and 90 days of treatment on the expression of anxiety, as expressed in the elevated plus maze test in male Albino Swiss mice. UTE revealed an anxiogenic effect in relation to the control group at 15 and 30 days, but it was reversed after 90 days of administration, without affecting the locomotor activity or any deleterious effects on the overall performance of the animal, either for its ambulation, or clinical status, and body weight and organ weight/body weight from liver, lung and kidney were unaffected. These biphasic effects are usually indicative of heterogeneity in sites of action due to the presence of many alkaloids (speciophylline, uncarine F and uncarine E) and flavanols (catechin and epigallocatechin) identified and isolated from UTE.