Possible anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a central benzodiazepine receptor ligand isolated from Passiflora coerulea.


Wolfman C, Viola H, Paladini A, Dajas F




Pharmacol Biochem Behav


The pharmacological effects of 5,7-dihydroxyflavone (chrysin), a naturally occurring monoflavonoid that displaces [3H]flunitrazepam binding to the central benzodiazepine (BDZ) receptors, were examined in mice. In the elevated plus-maze test of anxiety, diazepam (DZ, 0.3- 0.6 mg/kg) or chrysin (1 mg/kg) induced increases in the number of entries into the open arms and in the time spent on the open arms, consistent with an anxiolytic action of both compounds. The effects of chrysin on the elevated plus-maze was abolished by pretreatment with the specific BDZ receptor antagonist Ro 15-1788 (3 mg/kg). In the holeboard, diazepam (1 mg/kg) and chrysin (3 mg/kg) increased the time spent head-dipping. In contrast, high doses of DZ (6 mg/kg) but not of chrysin produced a decrease in the number of head dips and in the time spent head-dipping. In the horizontal wire test, diazepam (6 mg/kg) had a myorelaxant action. In contrast, chrysin (0.6-30 mg/kg) produced no effects in this test. These data suggest that chrysin possesses anxiolytic actions without inducing sedation and muscle relaxation. We postulate that this natural monoflavonoid is a partial agonist of the central BDZ receptors.