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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 28, 2019

Quercetin attenuates acute predator stress exposure-evoked innate fear and behavioral perturbation

  • Putri Anggreini , Chrismawan Ardianto , Mahardian Rahmadi and Junaidi Khotib EMAIL logo



Oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of mental diseases, such as depression or anxiety. Psychological stress induced by predatory stimulus is one of the models that explain how induced affective behavior is manifested as a depression-like state. Quercetin is a flavonoid that exhibits potential pharmacological activity on mental diseases. Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of quercetin on innate fear and affective behavior induced by repeated predator stress exposure on mice.

Materials and methods

ICR mice were exposed to predatory stress for 3 days. Quercetin at a dose of 50 mg/kg was given intraperitoneally along with stress induction. The freezing behavior during the stress induction was analyzed. The anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors and cognitive and motor functions were examined on the last day of induction.


Predatory stress increased the affective behaviors (anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors) and produced freezing behavior without alterations in the cognitive function and exploratory behavior. Treatment with quercetin 50 mg/kg attenuated the freezing, anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors.


Repeated predator stress exposure causes both innate fear and depression-like state for the prey animals. Quercetin may have a protective effect against depression and alleviates the fear of traumatic events.

  1. Research funding: This work was supported by research grants from the Tahir Professorship Program and PDUPT 2019 provided by the Indonesian Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: The authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Ethical approval: All experiments were performed at the Laboratory of Animal Research, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Airlangga in accordance with the guide for care and use of laboratory animals issued by National Institutes of Health revised in 1985. The protocol was approved by the ethical committee, Faculty of Veterinary, Universitas Airlangga with no. 2.KE.007.05.2019.


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Received: 2019-09-02
Accepted: 2019-10-23
Published Online: 2019-11-28

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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