Terpenoid content of Valeriana wallichii extracts and antidepressant-like response profiles

Fazal Subhan, Nasiara Karim, Anwarul Hassan Gilani, Robert D.E. Sewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Three extracts of Valeriana wallichii DC (Valerianaceae) rhizome and fluoxetine were studied for antidepressant-like activity in two behavioral models, namely the forced swim test (FST) and the tail suspension test (TST). Fluoxetine as well as methanolic and aqueous extracts of V. wallichii induced monophasic dose-related decrements in immobility times in both tests. However, the aqueous-ethanolic fraction induced a biphasic dose-response profile since it produced a graded effect up to 200 mg/kg but the highest dose (250 mg/kg) was inactive in the FST. This extract also exhibited significantly reduced activity at 200 mg/kg compared to lower doses in the TST. The highest doses of aqueous-ethanolic extract also reduced locomotor activity which will have led to a negative functional interaction with antidepressant-like effects. Qualitative phytochemical analysis revealed that the aqueous-ethanolic extract of V. wallichii was the only separated rhizome fraction containing terpenoids. Furthermore, since the methanolic and aqueous extracts were active in the tests, it is suggested that the antidepressant-like action of this herbal plant is not contingent upon its terpenoid constituents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-691
Number of pages6
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressant
  • Aqueous alcoholic extracts
  • Fluoxetine
  • Rhizome
  • Terpenoids
  • Valeriana wallichi


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