Antidepressant-like effect of Salvia sclarea is explained by modulation of dopamine activities in rats

Geun Hee Seol, Hyun Soo Shim, Pill Joo Kim, Hea Kyung Moon, Ki Ho Lee, Insop Shim, Suk Hyo Suh, Sun Seek Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Aim of the study: The purpose of the present study was to screen aromatic essential oils that have antidepressant effects to identify the regulatory mechanisms of selected essential oils. Materials and methods: The antidepressant effects of essential oils of Anthemis nobilis (chamomile), Salvia sclarea (clary sage; clary), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), and Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) were assessed using a forced swim test (FST) in rats. Rats were treated with essential oils by intraperitoneal injection or inhalation. Serum levels of corticosterone were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Among the essential oils tested, 5% (v/v) clary oil had the strongest anti-stressor effect in the FST. We further investigated the mechanism of clary oil antidepression by pretreatment with agonists or antagonists to serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), adrenaline, and GABA receptors. The anti-stressor effect of clary oil was significantly blocked by pretreatment with buspirone (a 5-HT1A agonist), SCH-23390 (a D1 receptor antagonist) and haloperidol (a D2, D3, and D4 receptor antagonist). Conclusions: Our findings indicate that clary oil could be developed as a therapeutic agent for patients with depression and that the antidepressant-like effect of clary oil is closely associated with modulation of the DAnergic pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-190
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Corticosterone
  • Depression
  • Dopamine
  • Forced swim test
  • Salvia sclarea
  • Serotonin


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