Annona is a group of plants belonging to the Annonaceae family. A number of species from this group have been shown to have central nervous system effects and may have mood elevating properties. Studies with animals have shown that Annonaceae plants have a number of effects including tranquilising, anti-anxiety and anticonvulsant effects. Alkaloids from Annonaceae plants may have an affinity for the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and thus modulate dopamine release. Dopamine release is also modulated by the tricyclic antidepressant drugs class, and this may suggest that Annonaceae plants may have antidepressant effects. For example, in one study, researchers administered Annona cherimola to mice and exposed them to experimental stress. Annona cherimola was significantly able to increase the time the mice took to failure on the forced swimming test, indicative of antidepressant effects. Increased dopamine turnover was also observed in the mice administered Annona cherimola extracts.
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