Molecules, Vol. 27, Pages 8658: Interactions of Apigenin and Safranal with the 5HT1A and 5HT2A Receptors and Behavioral Effects in Depression and Anxiety: A Molecular Docking, Lipid-Mediated Molecular Dynamics and In Vivo Analysis (Molecules)
Background: The current study utilizes in silico molecular docking/molecular dynamics to evaluate the binding affinity of apigenin and safranal with 5HT1AR/5HT2AR, followed by assessment of in vivo effects of these compounds on depressive and anxious behavior. Methods: The docking between apigenin and safranal and the 5HT1A and 5HT2A receptors was performed utilizing AutoDock Vina software, while MD and protein-lipid molecular dynamics simulations were executed by AMBER16 software. For in vivo analysis, healthy control (HC), disease control (DC), fluoxetine-, and apigenin-safranal-treated rats were tested for changes in depression and anxiety using the forced swim test (FST) and the elevated plus-maze test (EPMT), respectively. Results: The binding affinity estimations identified the superior interacting capacity of apigenin over safranal for 5HT1A/5HT2A receptors over 200 ns MD simulations. Both compounds exhibit oral bioavailability and absorbance. In the rodent model, there was a significant increase in the overall mobility time in the FST, while in the EPMT, there was a decrease in latency and an increase in the number of entries for the treated and HC rats compared with the DC rats, suggesting a reduction in depressive/anxiety symptoms after treatment. Conclusions: Our analyses suggest apigenin and safranal as prospective medication options to treat depression and anxiety.