Choisya ternata Kunth (Rutaceae) is a plant species used in Mexican folk medicine for its antispasmodic and simulative properties. Recently, we identified a new alkaloid, isopropyl N-methylanthranilate, and a related one, methyl N-methylanthranilate, from the essential oil of this species and have proven them to possess antinociceptive activity even at 0.3 mg/kg. In the present study, anxiolytic and antidepressant effects of the two compounds have been studied in open field, horizontal wire, light/dark, forced swimming and tail suspension tests, as well as the effect on the onset and duration of diazepam-induced sleep in BALB/c mice. The volatile alkaloids (50-200 mg/kg, administered intraperitoneally), without having a muscle relaxant effect, caused a significant increase in the time the animals spent in an unsecured and putatively dangerous area when compared with the control group but had no effect on the number of crossings between the light/dark compartments. In addition to this anxiolytic activity, a significantly antidepressant-like effect was apparent at all tested doses, which was not due to an increase in locomotive activity. The anthranilates administered on their own did not induce sleep in mice but significantly prolonged the diazepam-induced sleep, in a dose-dependent way, suggesting an interaction with the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor complex. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Choisya ternata Kunth (Rutaceae) is native to North America where it is popularly known as “Mexican orange”. In this study, the anti-inflammatory effects of the essential oil (EO) obtained from the leaves of C. ternata, one of its minor components (ternanthranin-ISOAN) and its two synthetic analogues (methyl and propyl N-methylanthranilate - MAN and PAN) were evaluated. Mice pretreated with the EO (EO) obtained from C. ternata leaves (3-100 mg/kg, p.o.), ISOAN, MAN or PAN (1-30 mg/kg, p.o.) and the reference drugs, morphine (1 mg/kg, p.o.) and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, 100 mg/kg, p.o.), were evaluated in inflammation models such as formalin and subcutaneous air pouch models, with measurement of cell migration, exudate volume, protein extravasation, nitric oxide and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The EO from C. ternata significantly inhibited the time that the animals spent licking the formalin-injected paw in the second phase of the model at their higher doses (30 and 100 mg/kg, respectively). An inhibition of the inflammatory reaction induced after subcutaneous carrageenan injection into air pouch was also observed. In this model, the EO significantly reduced cell migration, exudate volume, protein extravased, and the increase in levels of inflammatory mediators (nitric oxide, TNF-α and IL-1β). ISOAN, MAN and PAN behaved in the same fashion at much smaller doses. Also, these molecules were able to show significant effects in the reduction of paw edema (at all tested doses) when the phlogistic agent was carrageenan, bradykinin, 5-HT, PGE2, C48/80 or 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-acetate (TPA). None of the tested doses had any effect in reducing histamine-induced edema. Our results indicate that the EO from C. ternata and anthranilate derivatives demonstrates an anti-inflammatory effect.