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Anxiolytic-like effect of Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Neem, Meliaceae) bark on adult zebrafish (Danio rerio): participation of the Serotoninergic and GABAergic systems 

Pharmacy & Pharmacology International Journal
Antonio Wlisses da Silva,1 Maria Kueirislene A Ferreira,1 Emanuela L Rebouças,2 Francisca Crislândia O Silva,1 Carlos Leone A Holanda,1 Sheila M Barroso,1 Joyce dos Reis Lima,1 Francisco Lucas A Batista,2 Francisco Rogenio S Mendes,3 Adriana R Campos,3 Jane Eire SA de Menezes,1 Francisco Ernani A Magalhães,1-3 Sônia Maria C Siqueira,1 Hélcio S dos Santos4


Azadirachta indica A. Juss is known as the tree of life for its diverse pharmacological applications. This study evaluated the effect of the anxiolytic type of bark of A. indica and mechanisms of action on adult zebrafish. Initially, EtCNeem toxicity was detected against Artemia salina, eliminated with the saponification reaction. The antioxidant potential of the fractions was evaluated. The fraction with higher antioxidant potential was submitted to the preliminary chemical prospecting, FT-IR, and the phenol and flavonoid content was determined. The animals were treated with the most promising antioxidant fraction (1.0; 2.5 or 5.0 mg/mL, i.p.) and underwent acute toxicity, open field tests and Light & Dark Test, evaluating the participation of serotonergic and GABAergic systems in the anxiolytic test. As a result, we selected the fraction of ethyl acetate (F-EtOAc) rich in phenolic and flavonoid compounds with antioxidant potential, which had a sedative and anxiolytic effect on adult zebrafish through serotonergic and GABAergic systems. F-EtOAc prevented alcohol-induced chronic anxiety in adult zebrafish. The results suggest that F-EtOAc is an anxiolytic agent mediated via the GABAergic and serotonergic system.


neem barks, acute and chronic anxiety, adult zebrafish, GABAA, 5-HT