Background: Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae) is an important herb in the traditional African and Ayurvedic medicines. The stem barks are used in the treatment of hypertension, insomnia, tumour, depression, rheumatism and as a tonic. This study was carried out to investigate antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effect of the hydroethanol stem bark extract of M. indica (HeMI) in mice.
Methods: HeMI (12.5–100 mg/kg, p.o.) was administered 1 h before subjecting the animal to the forced swim test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and elevated plus maze tests (EPM).
Results: HeMI (12.5–100 mg/kg, p.o.) treatment produced significant reduction in immobility time [F(6.56)=8.35, p<0.001], [F(6,56)=7.55, p<0.001] in the FST and TST, respectively. Moreover, co-administration of sub-therapeutic doses of imipramine or fluoxetine with HeMI (3.125 mg/kg) elicited significant reduction in time spent immobile in the FST. However, pretreatment of mice with parachlorophenylalanine, metergoline, yohimbine or sulpiride abolished the antidepressant-like effect elicited by HeMI. In the EPM, HeMI produced significant [F(5,42)=8.91, p<0.001] increase in open arms exploration by 75.55 % and this effect was blocked by pretreatment of mice with flumazenil or metergoline.
Conclusions: Findings from this study showed antidepressant-like effect of M. indica through interaction with 5-HT2 receptor, α2-adrenoceptor and dopamine D2-receptors. Also, an anxiolytic-like effect through its affinity for 5-HT2 and benzodiazepine receptors. Hence, M. indica could be a potential phytotherapeutic agent in the treatment of mixed anxiety-depressive illness.