Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Iranian Center of Neurological Research, Neuroscience Institute, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is one type of major depression that has harmful effects on mother, infant and family relationships. Therefore, this study investigated the protective effects of hydro-alcoholic extract of Nigella sativa on PPD in mice.
Methods: In this experimental study, adult female mice were randomly divided into 6 groups (n=10): control, PPD, Nigella sativa 200, bicuculline, muscimol and fluoxetine. In all animals except in the control group, PPD was induced by progesterone withdrawal. In groups of Nigella sativa 200, bicuculline, muscimol and fluoxetine, mice received 200 mg/kg Nigella sativa, 1 mg/kg bicuculline + 200 mg/kg Nigella sativa, 0.5 mg/kg muscimol and 15 mg/kg fluoxetine, respectively. Then, after 1 hr, the forced swimming test and open field test was examined.
Results: PPD caused significant increases in the immobility times in the forced swimming test (P < 0.05). Administration of Nigella sativa, muscimol and fluoxetine attenuated depression-related behaviors in compared to the PPD group (all P < 0.05). However, combined administration bicuculline with Nigella sativa prevented antidepressant effects of this extract. Moreover, there were no significant differences in the crossing number in the open field test of all groups.
Conclusions: Administration of Nigella sativa hydro-alcoholic extracts can be beneficial to the improvement in PPD and exerts possibly these protective effects partially through increase of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA)-A levels.


Main Subjects

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