Document Type : Research articles


Department of Biology, Izeh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Izeh, Iran


Background: Antioxidant compounds are novel approaches in the treatment of neurological disorders.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of the hydroalcoholic extract of Adiantum capillus-veneris (rich in flavonoids with antioxidant properties) in mice under chronic restraint stress (CRS).
Methods: This experimental study was conducted in a university-affiliated Experimental Animal Unit, Khuzestan, Iran, from April to June 2018. Forty male Balb/C mice were randomly divided into five groups (n = 8), including under chronic restraint stress (CRS) receiving normal saline, hydroalcoholic extract of A. capillus-veneris (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg/day, i.p), or diazepam (10 mg/kg/day, i.p). After 21 days of the consecutive treatment, anxiolytic and antidepressant activities were evaluated using elevated plus-maze (EPM) and forced swim test (FST). Moreover, serum and brain levels of total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and malondialdehyde (MDA), as well as serum corticosterone, were measured.
Results: Immobility time in the FST was significantly decreased (P = 0.002, P = 0.001, P < 0.0001) after treating CRS mice with all doses of the extract. CRS-exposed mice treated with all doses of the extract showed a significantly increased percentage of entries into the open arm (P < 0.0001, P = 0.001) and reduced closed arm entries in the EPM (P = 0.012, P = 0.024). Extract at all doses significantly increased serum (P < 0.0001) and brain (P = 0.011, P = 0.004, P = 0.001) TAC in CRS-exposed mice. The extract (200 and 400 mg/kg) also reduced CRS-induced serum and brain MDA (P < 0.0001, P = 0.001). Serum corticosterone did not significantly change following the extract treatment.
Conclusions: A. capillus-veneris extract showed antidepressant and anxiolytic effects by reducing oxidative stress markers.