Neuropharmacological properties of farnesol in Murine model

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Babol Branch, Islamic Azad University, Babol, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Amol University of Special Modern Technologies, Amol, Iran

3 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Amol University of Special Modern Technologies, Amol, Iran


Research on new compounds of therapeutic value for behavioral disorders has progressed recently. Several studies have reported neuropharmacological activities of plant derived terpenes. Farnesol is a sesquiterpene whose most popular source is fruits but the anxiolytic activity for farnesol is still unknown. The present study was conducted on 32 male Swiss Albino mice (8 in each group) to evaluate the neuropharmacological properties of farnesol and its effects on plasma cortisol levels. Farnesol was administered intraperitoneally at single doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg, while diazepam 2 mg/kg was used as standard anxiolytic. Thirty minutes after injections, open field test (OFT), elevated plus maze (EPM), a forced swimming test (FST), and a hot plate test (HPT) were performed for evaluation of anxiety-like behavior, depression and nociception. In OFT, farnesol at the dose of 100 mg/kg led to significant decrease in locomotor activity (P<0.01). In EPM, only farnesol 100 mg/kg led to significant increase in the number of entries to the open arms and the time spent in open arms (P<0.01). Increase in immobility time in FST was seen in farnesol 50 and 100 mg/kg (P<0.001). Farnesol 100 mg/kg exerts significant prolongation in the latency of responses to noxious heat stimuli in HPT. Like diazepam, farnesol decreased plasma levels of cortisol. Results revealed that farnesol had anxiolytic, anti-nociceptive and depressant effects in murine models. The present study provides pharmacological evidence supporting the use of farnesol as a sedative for anxiety disorders.


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