keywords: Anxiety, Chronic Model, Elevated Plus-maze, Flavonoids, Solanum aethiopicum
Anxiety is a group of mental disorders characterized by sudden feeling of intense fear and avoidance, panic, learning and memory impairment. Solanum aethiopicum fruit is used as sedative and contain solasodine, a compound reported to have anxiolytic activity. This study investigated the effect of flavonoids of methanol fruit extract of Solanum aethiopicum (MESA) on chronic model of anxiety. Medium Lethal Dose (LD50) was determined using OECD guidelines. Phytochemical screening was carried out using standard protocol. The flavonoids content of MESA was determined using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), Ultraviolet (UV), and Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy (LC/MS). Chronic anxiety was modeled by administering 20% of ethanol twice daily to rats. Treatment involves administration of MESA 100 mg/kg twice daily. Anxiolytic activity of MESA was tested using open field and elevated plus-maze. The data obtained was analyzed using SPSS version 24. The oral and intra-peritoneal LD50 of MESA in rats was above 5000 mg/kg. The phytochemical constituents present in MESA include alkaloid, flavonoids, saponin, tannin, steroid and cardiac glycosides. The FTIR, UV spectroscopy and LC/MS revealed the presence of flavonoids such as Piscisoflavone D, Desmodol, Derrubone, 3’-O-methylated flavonoids, and 6-prenylated flavones. In open field test, MESA significantly (p<0.05) increased the frequency of line crossing, rearing and central square entries. Also, MESA significantly (p<0.05) increased the number of entries and duration of stay on the open arms of elevated plus-maze. MESA possesses anxiolytic activity via chronic model of anxiety which is linked to the abundance of flavonoids. This suggested that Solanum aethiopicum fruit is a good candidate for drug development for the management of anxiety disorders.