Antidepressant activity of ethanol extract of Zea mays husk

Document Type: Original Article



2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

3 Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyNiger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria


Background and aims: Zea mays L. (Poaceae) husk extract is used traditionally in Ibibio traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases such as malaria, pains, inflammatory diseases and central nervous system disorders.
Methods: The husk extract (187-748 mg/kg) was evaluated for antidepressant activity in mice using open field, force swimming and tail suspension tests. Determination of median lethal dose (LD50) and phytochemical screening of the husk extract were also carried out using standard methods.
Results: The husk extract increased significantly the line crossing, walling and rearing activities of mice in open field test (P<0.05-0.001) and reduced significantly the immobility time in force swimming test (P<0.05-0.001). However, the immobility time in tail suspension tests was significantly increased by the extract (P<0.05-0.001).
Conclusion: The husk extract of Z. mays has prominent antidepressant activity which is due to the activities of its phytochemical constituents such as phenolic compounds. 


Main Subjects

1. Osagie AU, Eka OU. Nutritional quality of plant foods. Nigeria: University of Benin; 1998.

2. Simmonds NW. Evolution of crop plants. London: Longman Group Ltd; 1976.

3. Foster S, Duke J. Field Guide 10 Medical Plants. Eastern and Central North America. USA: Houghton MifAin, Boston; 1990.

4. Gill L. Ethnomedical uses of plants in Nigeria. Nigeria: Benin, Uniben Press ix; 1992.

5. Abo K, Fred-Jaiyesimi A, Jaiyesimi A. Ethnobotanical studies of medicinal plants used in the management of diabetes mellitus in South Western Nigeria. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008; 115(1): 67-71.

6. Owoyele BV, Negedu MN, Olaniran SO, Onasanwo SA, Oguntoye SO, Sanya JO, 
et al. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of aqueous extract of Zea mays husk in male Wistar rats. J Med Food. 2010; 13(2): 343-7.

7. Dong J, Cai L, Zhu X, Huang X, Yin T, Fang H, et al. Antioxidant activities and phenolic compounds of cornhusk, corncob and stigma maydis. J Braz Chem Soc. 2014; 25(11): 1956-64.

8. Ogawa K, Takeuchi M, Nakamura N. Immunological effects of partially hydrolyzed arabinoxylan from corn husk in mice. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005; 69(1): 19-25.

9. Trease G, Evans M. Text book of Pharmacognosy. 13th ed. Bailiere Tindall, London, Toronto. Tokyo Pg; 1989: 200-1.

10. Sofowora A. Medicinal plants and traditional medicine in Africa. USA: John Wiley and Sons LTD; 1982.

11. Lorke D. A new approach to practical acute toxicity testing. Arch Toxicol. 1983; 54(4): 275-87.

12. Archer J. Tests for emotionality in rats and mice: a review. Anim Behav. 1973; 21(2): 205-35.

13. Porsolt R, Bertin A, Jalfre M. Behavioral despair in mice: A primary screening test for antidepressants. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 1977; 229(2): 327-36.

14. Steru L, Chermat R, Thierry B, Simon P. The tail suspension test: A new method for screening antidepressants in mice. J Psychophar. 1985; 85(3): 367-70.

15.Ozturk Y, Aydini S, Beis R, Baser KHC, Berberoglu H. Effect of Hypericum pericum L. and Hypericum calycinum l. J. Phytomed 1996; 3(2): 139-46.

16. Kolawole O, Makinde J. Central nervous system depressant activity of Russelia equisetiformis. Niger J Physiol Sci. 2007; 22(1-2): 59-63.

17. Yadav A, Kawale L, Nade V. Effect of Morus alba L. (mulberry) leaves on anxiety in mice. Indian J Pharmacol. 2008; 40(1): 32-6.

18. Hemby S, Lucki I, Gatto G, Singh A, Thornley C, Matasi J, et al. Potential antidepressant effects of novel tropane compounds, selective for serotonin or dopamine transporters. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1997; 282(2): 727-33.

19. Lucki I. The forced swimming test as a model for core and component behavioral effects of antidepressant drugs. Behav Pharm. 1997; 8(6-7): 523-32.

20. Detke MJ, Rickels M, Lucki I. Active behaviors in the rat forced swimming test differentially produced by serotonergic and noradrenergic antidepressants. J Psychophar. 1995; 121(1): 66-72.

21. Willner P. The validity of animal models of depression. J Psychophar. 1984; 83(1): 1-16.

22. Hossain MM, Biva IJ, Jahangir R, Vhuiyan MMI. Central nervous system depressant and analgesic activity of Aphanamixis polystachya (Wall.) parker leaf extract in mice. Afr J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009; 3(5): 282-6.

23. Noldner M, Schötz K. Rutin is essential for the antidepressant activity of Hypericum perforatum extracts in the forced swimming test. Planta Med. 2002; 68(07): 577-80.