Carvacrol is the major constituent of essential oils from aromatic plants. It showed antimicrobial, anticancer and antioxidant properties. Although it was approved for food use and included in the chemical flavorings list, no indication on its safety has been estimated. Since the use of plant extracts is relatively high among women, aim of this study was to evaluate carvacrol effects on female physiology and endocrine profiles by using female rats in proestrus and diestrus phases. Serotonin and metabolite tissue content in prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, after carvacrol administration (0.15 and 0.45 g/kg p.o.), was measured. Drug effects in behavioral tests for alterations in motor activity, depression, anxiety-related behaviors and endocrine alterations were also investigated. While in proestrus carvacrol reduced serotonin and metabolite levels in both brain areas, no effects were observed in diestrus phase. Only in proestrus phase, carvacrol induced a depressive-like behavior in forced swimming test, without accompanying changes in ambulation. The improvement of performance in FST after subchronic treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg/kg) suggested a specific involvement of serotonergic system. No differences were found across the groups with regard to self-grooming behavior. Moreover, in proestrus phase, carvacrol reduced only estradiol levels without binding hypothalamic estradiol receptors. Our study showed an estrous-stage specific effect of carvacrol on depressive behaviors and endocrine parameters, involving serotonergic system. Given the wide carvacrol use not only as feed additive, but also as cosmetic essence and herbal remedy, our results suggest that an accurate investigation on the effects of its chronic exposure is warranted. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Estrous cycle affects the neurochemical and neurobehavioral profile of carvacrol-treated female rats

TRABACE, LUIGIA;MORGESE, MARIA GRAZIA;TUCCI, PAOLO;SCHIAVONE, STEFANIA;
2011

Abstract

Carvacrol is the major constituent of essential oils from aromatic plants. It showed antimicrobial, anticancer and antioxidant properties. Although it was approved for food use and included in the chemical flavorings list, no indication on its safety has been estimated. Since the use of plant extracts is relatively high among women, aim of this study was to evaluate carvacrol effects on female physiology and endocrine profiles by using female rats in proestrus and diestrus phases. Serotonin and metabolite tissue content in prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, after carvacrol administration (0.15 and 0.45 g/kg p.o.), was measured. Drug effects in behavioral tests for alterations in motor activity, depression, anxiety-related behaviors and endocrine alterations were also investigated. While in proestrus carvacrol reduced serotonin and metabolite levels in both brain areas, no effects were observed in diestrus phase. Only in proestrus phase, carvacrol induced a depressive-like behavior in forced swimming test, without accompanying changes in ambulation. The improvement of performance in FST after subchronic treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg/kg) suggested a specific involvement of serotonergic system. No differences were found across the groups with regard to self-grooming behavior. Moreover, in proestrus phase, carvacrol reduced only estradiol levels without binding hypothalamic estradiol receptors. Our study showed an estrous-stage specific effect of carvacrol on depressive behaviors and endocrine parameters, involving serotonergic system. Given the wide carvacrol use not only as feed additive, but also as cosmetic essence and herbal remedy, our results suggest that an accurate investigation on the effects of its chronic exposure is warranted. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/51288
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