Antidepressant-like effect and toxicological parameters of extract and withanolides isolated from aerial parts of Solanum capsicoides All. (Solanaceae)

  • Marcel Petreanu
  • Paula Maia
  • Janieire L. da Rocha Pittarello
  • Lucimara C. Loch
  • Franco Delle Monache
  • Alice L. Perez
  • Godofredo Solano-Arias
  • Valdir Cechinel Filho
  • Márcia Maria de Souza
  • Rivaldo NieroEmail author
Original Article


The present work describes the evaluation of the antidepressant-like activity of the extract, fractions, and compounds obtained from the aerial parts of Solanum capsicoides. The methanolic extract (MESC) obtained by conventional maceration was partitioned with solvents of increasing polarities yielding the respective fractions of hexane (HE), dichloromethane (DCM), and ethyl acetate (EA). The dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions were submitted to chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques, leading to the isolation and identification of cilistadiol (1), astragalin (2), and cilistol A (3). In relation to the antidepressant activity, the extract was active against the forced swimming test (FST) at a concentration of 300 mg/kg an ED50 (deffective dose that reduces 50% of immobility time) of 120.3 (117.3–123.4) mg/kg. Similar values were observed when evaluated in the tail suspension test (TST). In addition, the results showed no influence on motor behavior when evaluated in the open field test (OFT). Based on the observed profile of the MESC, dichloromethane fraction presenting the best profile, in both FST and TST test. Likewise, the fraction also did not present motor impairment when evaluated by the OFT test. Considering that the dichloromethane fraction was more effective, the isolated compounds cilistadiol and cilistol A were evaluated in the same experimental models. In FST, both compounds had a significant antidepressant-like effect, with ED50 values of 0.22 (0.16–0.28) and 1.03 (0.89–1.18) μmol/kg, respectively. When evaluated in the TST, showed ED50 values of 0.30 (0.18–0.52) and 1.49 (1.27–1.73) μmol/kg, respectively. The isolated compounds also did not present significant differences in the motor behavior when evaluated on OFT test in comparison with the control group. No toxicological parameters were observed until the highest dose of MESC (2000 mg/kg), demonstrating safety in the use of this plant.


Solanum capsicoides Withanolides Antidepressant-like activity 


Author’s contributions

MMS and MP designed and performed the experiments, analyzed the data, and wrote the manuscript. PM, JLRP, LCL, and FDM performed the experiments, analyzed the data, edited, and approved the manuscript. ALPS and GSA contributed to the drafting of the manuscript. VCF and RN edited and approved the manuscript.

Funding information

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brazil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001. This study was financially supported by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e Inovação do Estado de Santa Catarina (FAPESC), and Universidade do Vale do Itajaí (UNIVALI).

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcel Petreanu
    • 1
  • Paula Maia
    • 1
  • Janieire L. da Rocha Pittarello
    • 1
  • Lucimara C. Loch
    • 1
  • Franco Delle Monache
    • 1
  • Alice L. Perez
    • 2
  • Godofredo Solano-Arias
    • 2
  • Valdir Cechinel Filho
    • 1
  • Márcia Maria de Souza
    • 1
  • Rivaldo Niero
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas and Núcleo de Investigações Químico-Farmacêuticas (NIQFAR)Universidade do Vale do Itajaí – UNIVALIItajaíBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación en Productos Naturales (CIPRONA)Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR)San JoséCosta Rica

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