The effects of Valeriana officinalis L. hydro-alcoholic on depression like behavior in ovalbumin sensitized rats

Extracts of Valeriana officinalis have been used in folkloric medicine for its sedative, hypnotic, tranquilzer and anticonvulsant effects, and may interact with y-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/r benzodiazepine sites. At low concentrations, valerian extracts enhance [3H] flunitrazepam binding (EC 50 4.13 X 10-10 mg/ml). However, this increased [3H] flunitrazepam binding is replaced by an inhibition at higher concentrations (IC50 of 4.82 x 10-1 mg/ml). These results are consistent with the presence of at least two different biological activities interacting with 3H] flunitrazepam binding sites. Valerian extracts also potentiate K+ or veratridine-stimulated release of radioactivity from hippocampal slices preloaded with [3H] GABA. Finally, inhibition of synaptosomal [3H] GABA uptake by valerian extracts also displays a biphasic interaction with guvacine. The results confirm that valerian extracts have effects on GABA A receptors, but can also interact at other presynaptic components of GABAergic neurons.