Withania qaraitica, Citalopram, Desipramine, Antidepressant-like effect, Forced-swimming test, Tail suspension test


Objective: The goal of the present study was to assess the antidepressant-like action of Withania qaraitica in two behavioral animal models, the forced-swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) in mice.

Methods: Withania qaraitica methanolic extract was prepared by the maceration. The antidepressant activity was measured by the forced-swimming test (FST) using C57BL/6 mice and the tail suspension test (TST) using BALB/c mice. Mice were divided into three groups: control (DMSO), standard (citalopram and desipramine), and Withania qaraitica methanolic extract (n = 6 per group). Drugs were injected (1 ml/100 g) intraperitoneally (i. p.). Data were evaluated using analysis of variance, followed by LSD post-hoc tests, where *p<0.001 was considered significantly different from the vehicle control. The data are expressed as mean±SEM.

Results: In both the FST and the TST, antidepressant-positive controls citalopram and desipramine significantly reduced the time of immobility compared to vehicle control (p<0.001). The methanolic extract of Withania qaraitica at the dose of 40 mg/kg significantly reduced the immobility times with respect to vehicle control as well as lower doses of the same extract (10 and 20 mg/kg) in FST (p<0.001). In a similar fashion, the methanolic extract of Withania qaraitica at the dose of 40 mg/kg significantly decreased the duration of immobility in TST (p<0.005).

Conclusion: The current results show the antidepressant-like activity of Withania qaraitica in mice. This observation warrants additional studies to identify the underlining mechanism by which Withania qaraitica produces antidepressant-like effects.


Download data is not yet available.


Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders-Apps. Available from: [Last accessed on 28 Nov 2022]

Depression ND. World Health Organization. World Health Organization. Available from: [Last accessed on 28 Nov 2022]

Villarroel MA, Terlizzi EP. Symptoms of depression among adults: United States. Sep 1. Hyattsville MD; 2019. p. 2020.

Nemeroff CB, Owens MJ. Treatment of mood disorders. Nat Neurosci. 2002 Nov;5(S11):1068-70. doi: 10.1038/nn943.

Kushwaha V, Agrawal P, Singh S, Chaudhary D, Verma AK, Sharma H. Assessment of adverse drug reactions of antidepressant drugs used in psychiatry department of a tertiary care hospital. Asian J Pharm Clin Res. 2022;15(4):49-54. doi: 10.22159/ajpcr.2022.v15i4.44287.

Hossen SMM, Islam MJ, Hossain MR, Barua A, Uddin MG, Emon NU. CNS anti-depressant, anxiolytic and analgesic effects of Ganoderma applanatum (mushroom) along with ligand-receptor binding screening provide new insights: multi-disciplinary approaches. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2021 Sep 1;27:101062. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2021.101062, PMID 34286108.

Ha A, Mehdi S, Krishna KL, Nabeel K. Medicinal herbs and phytochemicals used in the treatment of depression: a review. Asian J Pharm Clin Res. 2019;12(5):1-7.

Güragac Dereli FT, Ilhan M, Kupeli Akkol E. Identification of the main active antidepressant constituents in a traditional Turkish medicinal plant, Centaurea kurdica Reichardt. J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Mar 1;249:112373. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.112373.

Marwah RG, Fatope MO, Mahrooqi RA, Varma GB, Abadi HA, Al-Burtamani SKS. Antioxidant capacity of some edible and wound healing plants in Oman. Food Chem. 2007 Jan 1;101(2):465-70. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.02.001.

Pan SY, Zhou SF, Gao SH, Yu ZL, Zhang SF, Tang MK. New perspectives on how to discover drugs from herbal medicines: CAM’s outstanding contribution to modern therapeutics. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:627375. doi: 10.1155/2013/627375, PMID 23634172.

Christenhusz MJM, Byng JW. The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase. Phytotaxa. 2016 May 20;261(3):201-17. doi: 10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.

Ghazanfar SA. Handbook of Arabian medicinal plants. CRC Press; 1994 Aug 24.

Miller AG, Morris M. Plants of dhofar, the southern region of Oman: traditional, economic, and medicinal uses. Sultanate and Oman: Office of the Adviser for Conservation of the Environment, Diwan of Royal Court. Muscat; 1988.

Uddin Q, Samiulla L, Singh VK, Jamil SS. Phytochemical and pharmacological profile of Withania somnifera Dunal: a review. J Appl Pharm Sci. 2012 Jan 30(Issue):170-5.

Perveen A, Qaiser M. Pollen morphology of family Solanaceae from Pakistan. Pak J Bot. 2007 Dec 1;39(7):2243-56.

Kumari P, Kumari C, Singh PS. Phytochemical screening of selected medicinal plants for secondary metabolites. Int J Life Sci Scienti Res. 2017 Jul;3(4):1151-7. doi: 10.21276/ijlssr.2017.3.4.9.

Gavande K, Jain K, Mehta R. Few medicinal activities of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Int J Pharm Life Sci. 2014 Jun 1;5(6):3603-6.

Singh G, Sharma PK, Dudhe R, Singh S. Biological activities of Withania somnifera. Ann Biol Res. 2010;1(3):56-63.

Dhanani T, Shah S, Gajbhiye NA, Kumar S. Effect of extraction methods on yield, phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activity of Withania somnifera. Arab J Chem. 2017 Feb 1;10:S1193-9. doi: 10.1016/j.arabjc.2013.02.015.

Winbow C. The native plants of oman: an introduction. Environment Society of Oman; 2008.

Chen L, Faas GC, Ferando I, Mody I. Novel insights into the behavioral analysis of mice subjected to the forced swim test. Transl Psychiatry. 2015 Apr;5(4):e551. doi: 10.1038/tp.2015.44, PMID 25871976.

Tang M, He T, Meng QY, Broussard JI, Yao L, Diao Y. Immobility responses between mouse strains correlate with distinct hippocampal serotonin transporter protein expression and function. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Nov 1;17(11):1737-50. doi: 10.1017/S146114571400073X, PMID 24833265.

Azwanida NN. A review on the extraction methods use in medicinal plants, principle, strength and limitation. Med Aromat Plants. 2015 Jul;4(196):2167-0412.

Porsolt RD, Le Pichon M, Jalfre ML. Depression: a new animal model sensitive to antidepressant treatments. Nature. 1977 Apr;266(5604):730-2. doi: 10.1038/266730a0, PMID 559941.

Cryan JF, Page ME, Lucki I. Differential behavioral effects of the antidepressants reboxetine, fluoxetine, and moclobemide in a modified forced swim test following chronic treatment. Psychopharmacology. 2005 Nov;182(3):335-44. doi: 10.1007/s00213-005-0093-5, PMID 16001105.

Can A, Dao DT, Terrillion CE, Piantadosi SC, Bhat S, Gould TD. The tail suspension test. J Vis Exp. 2012 Jan 28;59(59):e3769. doi: 10.3791/3769, PMID 22315011.

Gardner A, Boles RG. Beyond the serotonin hypothesis: mitochondria, inflammation and neurodegeneration in major depression and affective spectrum disorders. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Apr 29;35(3):730-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2010.07.030, PMID 20691744.

Bhatt S, Nagappa AN, Patil CR. Role of oxidative stress in depression. Drug Discov Today. 2020 Jul 1;25(7):1270-6. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2020.05.001, PMID 32404275.

Kumar P, Kumar A. Effects of root extract of withania somnifera in 3- nitropropionic acid-induced cognitive dysfunction and oxidative damage in rats. Int J Health Res. 2008;1(3):139-49. doi: 10.4314/ijhr.v1i3.55359.

Willner P, Mitchell PJ. The validity of animal models of predisposition to depression. Behav Pharmacol. 2002 May 1;13(3):169-88. doi: 10.1097/00008877-200205000-00001, PMID 12122308.

Porsolt RD. Behavioral despair. In: Enna SJ, Malick JB, Richelson E, editors. Antidepressants: neurochemical, behavioral and clinical perspectives. New York: Raven Press; 1981. p. 121-39.

Citalopram-StatPearls-NCBI bookshelf. Available from: [Last accessed on 29 Nov 2022].

Desipramine. National center for biotechnology information. United States National Library of Medicine. Available from: [Last accessed on 29 Nov 2022].

Schildkraut JJ. The catecholamine hypothesis of affective disorders: a review of supporting evidence. Am J Psychiatry. 1965 Nov;122(5):509-22. doi: 10.1176/ajp.122.5.509, PMID 5319766.

Priyanka G, Anil Kumar B, Lakshman M, Manvitha V, Kala Kumar B. Adaptogenic and immunomodulatory activity of Ashwagandha root extract: an experimental study in an equine model. Front Vet Sci. 2020 Sep 29;7:541112. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2020.541112, PMID 33134345.

Alam N, Hossain M, Mottalib MA, Sulaiman SA, Gan SH, Khalil MI. Methanolic extracts of Withania somnifera leaves, fruits and roots possess antioxidant properties and antibacterial activities. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Dec;12(1):175. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-175, PMID 23039061.

Khan MI, Maqsood M, Saeed RA, Alam A, Sahar A, Kieliszek M. Phytochemistry, food application, and therapeutic potential of the medicinal plant (Withania coagulans): a review. Molecules. 2021 Nov 15;26(22):6881. doi: 10.3390/molecules26226881, PMID 34833974.

Speers AB, Cabey KA, Soumyanath A, Wright KM. Effects of withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on stress and the stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2021 Sep 14;19(9):1468-95. doi: 10.2174/1570159X19666210712151556, PMID 34254920.

Maurya R. Chemistry and pharmacology of Withania coagulans: an Ayurvedic remedy. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2010 Feb;62(2):153-60. doi: 10.1211/jpp.62.02.0001, PMID 20487193.



How to Cite

ALMAQBALI, R. K., J. SHAIKH, A. MOHAMMED WELI, and S. A. SAID. “ANTIDEPRESSANT-LIKE ACTIVITY OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF WITHANIA QARAITICA IN MICE”. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 15, no. 2, Feb. 2023, pp. 25-30, doi:10.22159/ijpps.2023v15i2.46788.



Original Article(s)