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Open AccessArticle

Antidepressant-Like Effect of Lippia sidoides CHAM (Verbenaceae) Essential Oil and Its Major Compound Thymol in Mice

Department of Biotechnology, INTA University Center, UNINTA, Sobral, CE 62050-130, Brazil
Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, UFC, 100 Comandante Maurocélio Rocha Pontes Avenue, Derby, Sobral, CE 62042-280, Brazil
Center for Exact, Natural and Technological Sciences, State University of the Tocantina Region of Maranhão, UEMASUL, Imperatriz, MA 65901-480, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sci. Pharm. 2018, 86(3), 27;
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 16 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
PDF [5910 KB, uploaded 27 June 2018]


Depression is a common disease affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. Since Lippia sidoides has shown central nervous system effects in previous works, we aimed to investigate the effect of L. sidoides essential oil and its major compound, thymol on a corticosterone-induced depression model in mice. Male mice (20–25 g) received corticosterone (20 mg/kg, subcutaneously), once a day for 22 days. From the 16th day on, mice were grouped to receive either corticosterone or L. sidoides essential oil (100 and 200 mg/kg), or thymol (25 and 50 mg/kg) or fluoxetine (35 mg/kg) by gavage. The forced swimming test, tail suspension, open field, elevated plus maze and sucrose preference tests were performed from the 19th to 22nd day. Data were analyzed by ANOVA followed by the Student-Newman-Keuls as a post hoc test and the results were considered significant when p < 0.05. It was shown that L. sidoides essential oil, thymol and fluoxetine decreased the immobility time in the tail suspension and forced swimming tests and none of these altered locomotor activity in the open field test. However, the drugs increased the amount of grooming. In the elevated plus maze, all drugs increased the number of entries and the time of permanence in the open arms. In the sucrose preference test, the L. sidoides essential oil, thymol and fluoxetine reversed anhedonia. These results suggest that the thymol and L. sidoides essential oil have an antidepressant-like effect, similar to fluoxetine. However, future studies should be encouraged to enhance understanding of the effects of essential oil and thymol for the treatment of depression. View Full-Text
Keywords: depression; thymol; antidepressant effect; L. sidoides; essential oil depression; thymol; antidepressant effect; L. sidoides; essential oil

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Parente, M.S.R.; Custódio, F.R.; Cardoso, N.A.; Lima, M.J.A.; Melo, T.S.; Linhares, M.I.; Siqueira, R.M.P.; Nascimento, A.Á.; Catunda Júnior, F.E.A.; Melo, C.T.V. Antidepressant-Like Effect of Lippia sidoides CHAM (Verbenaceae) Essential Oil and Its Major Compound Thymol in Mice. Sci. Pharm. 2018, 86, 27.

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