Evaluation of antidepressant-like effects of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Pimpinella anisum fruit in mice

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Depatment of Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Pharmacology, Urmia Branch, Islamic Azad University Urmia, Iran

3 Department of Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutical Science Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Objective: Pimpinella anisum (P. anisum) has different pharmacological properties such as anticonvulsant, analgesic, tranquilizer, antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. In this study the antidepressant-like effect of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of P. anisum fruit in mice was investigated.

Materials and Methods: Forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) were used to determine the antidepressant effects of P. anisum (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, i.p.) fruit extracts. Fluoxetine (20 mg/kg, i.p.) and imipramine (30 mg/kg, i.p.) were used as standard drugs.

Results: All the three doses of aqueous and ethanolic extracts (except 50 mg/kg of aqueous extract in FST) significantly and dose-dependently reduced the immobility times in both FST and TST. All doses of extracts increased the swimming time dose-dependently, without any significant change in climbing time. In addition, all doses of ethanolic extract reduced immobility times and increased swimming time insignificantly higher than aqueous extract. But, the two extracts decreased the duration of climbing time similarly. Fluoxetine and imipramine decreased immobility time in both tests. Fluoxetine increased the swimming time without modifying climbing time. In contrast, imipramine increased climbing time without any significant change in swimming time.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that P. anisum possesses an antidepressant-like activity similar to that of fluoxetine, which has a potential clinical value for application in the management of depression.


Main Subjects

De Sousa DP.2011. Analgesic-like activity of essential oils constituents. Mol ,16: 2233-2252.
Detke MJ, Rickels M, Lucki I. 1995. Active behaviors in the rat forced swimming test differentially produced by serotonergic and noradrenergic antidepressants. Psychopharmacol, 121: 66-72.
Drukarch B, Flier J, Jongenelen CA, Andringa G, Schoffelmeer AN.2006. The antioxidant anethole dithiolethione inhibits monoamine oxidase-B but not monoamnie oxidase A activity in extracts of cultured astrocytes. J Neural Transm, 113: 593-598.
EL-Hodairy FA. 2014. Neuroprotective effects of pimpinella anisum on neurotoxicity induced by bisphinol a on normal and diabetic rats. Int J Pharm
Pharm Sci, 6; 3: 9-12.
Emamghoreishi M,Talebianpour MS. 2009. Antidepressant effect of Melissa officinalis in forced swim test. DARU, 17: 42-47.
Gulcin I, Oktay M, Kıreccıc E, Kufrevıoglu OI.2003. Screening of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of anise (Pimpinella anisum L.) seed extracts. Food Chem, 83: 371-382.
Heidari MR, Ayeli M.2005. Effects of methyl alcoholic extract of Pimpinella anisum L. on picrotoxin induced seizure in mice and its probable mechanism. Sci J kurdestan Univ of MedSic(SJKU), 10:1-8.
Kessler RC, Ustun TB. 2008. The WHO world mental health surveys: global perspectives on the epidemiology of mental disorders.Firest ed. Cambridge University Press. New York, pp.281-309.
Khanzode SD, Dakhale GN, Khanzode SS, Saoji A, Palasodkar R.2003. Oxidative damage and major depression: the potential antioxidant action of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Redox Rep, 8:365-370.
Meyers S.2000.Monoaminergic supplements as natural antidepressants. Altern Med Rev, 5:64-71.
Moallem SA, Hosseinzade H, Ghoncheh F.2007.Evaluation of antidepressant effect of aerial parts of Echium vulgare on mice. Iran J Basic Med Sci, 10: 189-196.
Niksokhan M, Hedarieh N, Najafifard Maryam, Najafifard Masoomeh. 2015. Effect of hydro-alcholic extract of Pimpinella anisum seed on anxiety in male rat. J Gorgan Uni Med Sci, 33:28-33.
Page ME, Detke MJ, Dalvi A, Kirby JG, Lucki I. 1999. Serotoninergic mediation of the effects of fluoxetine, but not desipramine, in the rat forced swimming test. Psychopharmacol, 147: 162-167.
Porsolt RD, Bertin A, Jalfre M. 1977. Behavioral despair in mice: a primary screening test for antidepressants. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther, 229: 327-336.
Rodrigues VM, Rosa PTV, Marques MOM, Petenate AJ, Meireles MAA. 2003. Supercritical extraction of essential oil from aniseed (Pimpinella anisum L) using CO2: solubility, kinetics, and composition data. J Agricul Food Chem, 51: 1518-1523.
Salehi Surmaghi MH. 2010. Medicinal plants and phytotherapy. Vol 1. 3th ed. Donyay Taghziah Press.Tehran,pp.81-83.
Scapagnini G, Davinelli S, Drago F, De Lorenzo A, Oriani G.2012. Antioxidants as antidepressants: fact or fiction?. CNS Drugs, 26:477-490.
Shoji A, Abdollahi Fard M. 2012. Review of pharmacological properties and chemical constituents of Pimpinella anisum. Int Sch Res Notices, 1-8.
Steru L, Chermat R, Thierry B, Simon P. 1985. The tail suspension test: a new method for screening antidepressants in mice. Psychopharmacol, 85: 367-370.
Thierry B, Steru L, Simon P, Porsolt RD. 1986. The tail suspension test: ethical considerations. Psychopharmacol (Berl), 90: 284-285.
Weinstock M, Poltyrev T, Bejar C, Youdim MBH. 2002. Effect of TV3326, a novel monoamine-oxidase cholinesterase inhibitor, in rat models of anxiety and depression. Psychopharmacol, 160: 318-324.
Woode E, Gyasi EB , Amidu N, Ansah C, Duwiejua M. 2010. Anxiolytic and antidepressant effect of a leaf extract of Palisota hirsute K. schum (Commelinaceae) in mice. In J Pharmacol, 6: 1-17.
Zomkowski ADE, Santos ARS, Rodrigues ALS. 2005. Involvement of opioid system in the agmatine antidepressant-like effect in the forced swimming test. Neurosci Lett, 381: 279-283.
Zargari A.2011.Medicinal plants. Vol 2. 7th ed.Tehran University Press.Teharn, pp.532-537.