RESEARCH PAPER
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction and objective:
The genus Passiflora incarnata L. is used in traditional medicine for its analgesic, anxiolytic and sedative purposes, and its flavoursome fruits have long been consumed, especially in North America. The aim of the study is to assess the effect of extract of P. incarnata L. on the motor activity of rats.

Material and methods:
Behavioural testing was performed in rats previously exposed to P. incarnata L. extract (30, 100, 300 mg/kg b.w). To explain the neurobiochemical background of behavioural changes, the concentration of neurotransmitters after extract consumption were assayed in CNS structures responsible for motor function using High Performance Liquid Chromatography.

Results:
The study demonstrated that exposure to the extract resulted in dose dependent modulation of rats behaviour, and altered neurotransmission in major elements of the CNS locomotor system. The changes concerned primarily the cerebellar and spinal dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems.

Conclusions:
Inhibitory effect of P. incarnata L. extract on the GABAergic pathway has potential as a sedative agent and may be promising alternative to benzodiazepines in controlling anxiety and hyperactivity. The significant increase in the level of spinal dopamine may be potentially useful in disorders related to a deficit in dopaminergic neurotransmission. These findings could lead to the development of specific supportive therapies for anxiety and symptoms of gradual loss or impairment of motor behaviour.

 
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