The anxiolytic activities of Punica granatum L. fruit juice (PGFJ)
in various validated animal models of anxiety and amnesia have been recently
reported in mice. Similarly, anxiolytic-like activity of magnesium chloride has
been exhibited in the elevated plus-maze test in mice, in some studies.
Buspirone is an anxiolytic psychoactive drug with known effects on 5-HT1A receptors that its action is not related to benzodiazepines. The purpose of the
present study was to examine interactions between PGFJ, magnesium (Mg) and
buspirone as a partial agonist of 5-HT1A receptors in producing
anxiolytic-like activity in the elevated plus maze in mice. The anxiolytic-like
effect of PGFJ (5, 10 and 20 ml/kg, orally), buspirone (5 mg/kg, i.p), Mg (50
mg/kg, orally) and their interactions were evaluated after ten days’ treatment.
PGFJ given at all doses induced an anxiolyticlike effect significantly
increasing the percentage of the time spent in the open arms, and the percentage
of the open arm entries, in a dose-dependent manner. Buspirone showed anxiolytic
effect after ten days; however, its effect was roughly comparable to the effect
of PGFJ 5 ml/kg. Buspirone in combination with PGFJ (5 ml/kg), did produce more
effect compared to buspirone alone and nearly in the range of PGFJ 5 ml/kg
response. Also, Mg induced an anxiolytic-like effect that was more than effects
observed by buspirone 5 mg/kg. However, binary application of buspirone and Mg
showed anxiolytic effects more than buspirone, alone. In another group, Mg in
combination with PGFJ (5 ml/kg), produced more anxyolitic effects compared to
either Mg or PEF alone. It can be concluded that Pomegranate anxyolitic-like
effect is dependent on interactions with both GABAergic (related to Mg) and
serotonergic (5-HT1A) systems.