Potentials of Mangifera indica in the treatment of depressive-anxiety disorders: possible mechanisms of action

Ismail O. Ishola 1 , Olufunsho Awodele 1  and Chinedum O. Eluogu 1 , 2
  • 1 Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 2 Internal Medicine Unit, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Ismail O. Ishola, Olufunsho Awodele and Chinedum O. Eluogu


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.

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The Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine focuses on evidence concerning the efficacy and safety of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) whole systems, practices, interventions and natural health products, including herbal medicines.