A relationship between inflammation and depression has been suggested. Ocimum basilicum, has been reported to have preventive effects of inflammatory responses. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of hydro-ethanolic extract of Ocimum basilicum leaves on depressive behaviors in rats sensitized by ovalbumin.
The animals were grouped into: (1) Control: saline was injected, (2) Sensitized: sensitization was carried out by ovalbumin, (3-5) three groups including Sent-Ocim 50, Sent- Ocim 100 and Sent- Ocim 200 : sensitization was carried and also 50, 100 or 200 mg/kg, of Ocimum basilicum leave extract was injected.
In open- field (O-F) test, the number of crossing in the central zone of the sensitized group was lower while, the number of crossing in the peripheral zone was higher than control (P<0. 05- P< 0.01). Treatment by 200 mg / kg of the extract increased the number of crossing in the central zone (P< 0.05). Furthermore, in the Sent-Ocim 50, Sent- Ocim 100 and Sent- Ocim 200 groups, the number of crossing in the peripheral zone was lower than that of the sensitized group(P< 0. 01- P< 0.001). In forced swimming (F-S) test, the immobility time in sensitized rats was higher while, the swimming and climbing times were lower than in the control ones (P< 0.05- P< 0. 001). The animals in Sent- Ocim 200 group had lower immobility while, higher swimming and climbing times compared to sensitized animals (P<0.01-P<0.001). The current study revealed that hydro-ethanolic extract of Ocimum basilicum leaves attenuates depressive behaviors in rats sensitized by ovalbumin. These results confirmed the benefits of Ocimum basilicum in the central nervous system.