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Cavallo F, Nencini C, Capasso A, De Tommasi N, Leone A, Micheli L. 
“In vitro binding studies of methanolic extracts from different salvia species”. 
Pharmacolgyonline. 2006;1:1-10.
Lamiaceae are generally known for their multiple pharmacological effects including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitumoral and central nervous system (CNS) depressant activities. The genus Salvia from the Lamiaceae family has numerous different species, Salvia sclarea L. is largely used in traditional medicine as antiseptic, for digestion disorders, in kidney disease. Furthermore, it has been reported that some compounds from Salvia ssp (specially Salvia divinorum Epling & Jativa) are able to induce allucinogenic activity.

To investigate the mechanism of action on CNS and in order to verify if pharmacological activity depends on species, we have studied five different species of Salvia. Therefore we have evaluated the affinity for the serotoninergic (5HT1A, 5HT2A and 5HT2C), noradrenergic (alpha1 and alpha2) and dopaminergic (D1 and D2) receptors of methanolic extracts of Salvia sclarea L. roots, Salvia dominica L. leaves, Salvia dominica L. flowers, Salvia spinosa L. aerial parts, Salvia palaestina Benth. aerial parts and Salvia menthaefolia Tenore roots.

Interesting results have been shown by S. sclarea extract with elevated affinity for the 5-HT2A receptors (IC50 value = 42.49 ± 0.591 µg/ml) and moderate affinity for the D2 receptors (46% as level of inhibition at the maximum concentration tested, 125 µg/ml). In addition S. palaestina extract showed high affinity for D1 and D2 receptors with IC50 values of 68.70 ± 2.421 µg/ml and 30.14 ± 3.643 µg/ml respectively, while S. menthaefolia extract displayed moderate affinity only for the 5- HT2A receptors with a level of inhibition of 48.3% at the maximum concentration tested (125 µg/ml). All remaining extracts showed low or no affinity for the examined receptors.

Our data disclosed the interactions with dopaminergic and serotoninergic receptors of methanolic extracts of S. sclarea and S. palaestina indicating some CNS effect. The divergences of results showed by this study of course underlined the differences among Salvia species tested.
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