Quercetin attenuates acute predator stress exposure-evoked innate fear and behavioral perturbation

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of mental diseases, such as depression or anxiety. Psychological stress induced by predatory stimulus is one of the models that explain how induced affective behavior is manifested as a depression-like state. Quercetin is a flavonoid that exhibits potential pharmacological activity on mental diseases. Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of quercetin on innate fear and affective behavior induced by repeated predator stress exposure on mice. ICR mice were exposed to predatory stress for 3 days. Quercetin at a dose of 50 mg/kg was given intraperitoneally along with stress induction. The freezing behavior during the stress induction was analyzed. The anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors and cognitive and motor functions were examined on the last day of induction. Predatory stress increased the affective behaviors (anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors) and produced freezing behavior without alterations in the cognitive function and exploratory behavior. Treatment with quercetin 50 mg/kg attenuated the freezing, anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors. Repeated predator stress exposure causes both innate fear and depression-like state for the prey animals. Quercetin may have a protective effect against depression and alleviates the fear of traumatic events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20190242
JournalJournal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fear
  • predator stress exposure
  • quercetin


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