Lycium barbarum L. (goji berry) fruits improve anxiety, depression-like behaviors, and learning performance: the moderating role of sex


Abstract: The aim of this research was to investigate the effects of the methanol extract obtained from Lycium barbarum fruits on anxiety, depression-like behaviors, and spatial memory in Wistar albino rats. A total of 28 rats were selected, randomly assigned to four experimental groups, and tested by means of the open field and elevated plus maze tests for anxiety-like behaviors, the forced swim test for depression-like behaviors, and the Morris water maze test for spatial memory. The findings demonstrated that in the open field, L. Barbarum-administered rats spent more time at the center and showed more mobility and velocity than controls. In the elevated plus maze, L. Barbarum-administered rats spent more time in the open arms, spent less time in the closed arms, and showed more mobility and velocity. In the Porsolt test, L. Barbarum-administered rats showed less immobility. In the Morris water maze, L. Barbarum-administered rats took more time to find the platform. However, females were better at finding the platform than males. The methanol extract of L. Barbarum fruits decreased anxiety and depression-like behaviors and interacted with sex on spatial memory.

Keywords: Lycium barbarum (goji berry), anxiety, depression, spatial memory, Wistar albino rat (Rattus rattus)

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