Introduction: The use of pharmacological agents in the treatment of anxiety disorders have fallen out of favor as their unwanted side-effects have become evident. These presenting challenges call for an inward look into harnessing the full potential of medicinal plants that abound around us. Aim: This study aimed at evaluating the anxiolytic activity of ethanolic fruit extract of Sarcocephalus latifolius in mice. Materials and Methods: The prepared extract at 200, 400, and 600 mg/kg as well as 2.5 mg/kg of diazepam reference standard was administered orally. Anxiolytic activity of the extract was explored using elevated plus-maze and open-field models. Result: In the elevated plus-maze, the extract possessed insignificant (P > 0.05) anxiolytic effect by decreasing the time spent in open arms and entries into the open arms. However, the time spent in the closed arms increased significantly in the extract treated groups compared to the reference standard. In the open-field model, no significant (P > 0.05) locomotor activity was observed in the extract groups. The number of locomotion was less in the extract groups compared the reference standard having the highest locomotive activity. Furthermore, there were reduction in the number of rearing at extract doses of 400 and 600 mg/kg compared with the normal saline and reference standard. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the ethanolic fruit extract of S. latifolius lack anxiolytic activity.
Key words: Anxiolytic activity, diazepam, elevated plus-maze, open-field models, Sarcocephalus latifoluis