Potato (Solanum tuberosum) juice exerts an anticonvulsant effect in mice through binding to GABA receptors

Ruta Muceniece, Kristine Saleniece, Liga Krigere, Juris Rumaks, Zane Dzirkale, Rudolfs Mezhapuke, Jorens Kviesis, Peteris Mekss, Vija Klusa, Helgi B. Schiöth, Maija Dambrova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Naturally occurring benzodiazepines have been identified in regular food such as wheat and potato, but there is still no evidence that potato extracts can affect CNS responses in vivo. Here we found that undiluted potato juice and potato juice diluted with saline 1:2 administered 10 min intracisternally (i. c.) and 30 min per os before bicuculline exerted significant anticonvulsant activity in the bicuculline-induced seizure threshold test in mice. In vitro, potato juice from different harvests at dilution series from 10% to 0.000001%, diluted 100,000-fold, displaced 50% of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor ligand [3H]GABA and diluted 40-fold displaced 50% of [ 3H]flunitrazepam from binding sites in mice forebrain membranes. The low content of diazepam (0.04 ± 0.01 mg/kg) determined by HPLC and mass spectrometry in the potato extracts could not sustain the anticonvulsant activity of potato juice in vivo; therefore we hypothesized that potato juice might contain GABAA receptor GABA-site active compounds. The findings of this study suggest that potato juice as well as potato taken as food may have the capacity of influencing brain GABA-ergic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-496
Number of pages6
JournalPlanta Medica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Benzodiazepine
  • Bicuculline seizures
  • GABA receptors
  • Potato
  • Radioligand receptor binding
  • Solanaceae
  • Solanum tuberosum L.

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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