The aim of the present study was to determine neurobehavioral and genotoxic activities of ethanol extract of Erythrina falcata Benth., Fabaceae, leaves on rats. Animals were treated with ethanol extract of E. falcata (100, 300 or 500 mg/ kg; i.p.) and the open field and elevated plus-maze tasks were used as behavioral models to investigate a possible effect on the locomotor and exploratory activity and anxiety, respectively. Genotoxic effect was investigated using the Comet assay. Ethanol extract of E. falcata leaves decreased the number of crossings and rearings in the open field task and increased the latency to start locomotion, though it was not able to affect habituation to apparatus measured 24 h after the first session. Behavioral parameters in the plus-maze test were not affected by E. falcata. Ethanol extract did not increase damage index and damage frequency in blood or brain, indicating no genotoxic effect. The results suggest that ethanol extract of E. falcata leaves was able to affect locomotion, exploration, and motivation of animals without anxiolytic/anxiogenic effect, indicating a possible depressant action on the central nervous system. Furthermore, the lack of DNA damage in brain is an indicative that ethanol extract of E. falcata leaves may not induce neurotoxic effects
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