Nelumbo nucifera seed extract promotes sleep in drosophila melanogaster

Kyungae Jo, Hyeon Son Choi, Sang Duck Jeon, Chang Won Ahn, Hyung Joo Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The sleep-promoting effects of the water extract of Nelumbo nucifera seeds (NNE) were investigated in an invertebrate model. The effects of NNE on the subjective nighttime activity, sleep episodes, and sleep time were determined using Drosophila melanogaster and locomotor activity monitoring systems in basal and caffeine-induced arousal conditions. The movements of fruit flies were analyzed using the Noldus EthoVision-XT system, and the levels of neuromodulators were analyzed using HPLC. Expression of neuromodulator receptors was analyzed using real-time PCR. NNE was shown to contain neurotransmission-related components; γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) (2.33±0.22mg/g), tryptophan (2.00±0.06mg/g), quinidine (0.55±0.33mg/g), and neferine (0.16±0.01mg/g). The total activity of flies during nighttime was decreased by 52% with 1.0% NNE treatment. In the individual and collective conditions, the subjective nighttime activities (45/38%) and sleep bouts (20/14%) of flies was significantly decreased with NNE treatment, while total sleep times (10/27%) were significantly increased. This sleep-promoting effect is more pronounced in caffeine-treated conditions; the nighttime activity of flies was reduced by 53%, but total sleep time was increased by 60%. Our video-tracking analysis showed a significant decrease of the moving distance and velocity of flies by NNE. This NNE-mediated sleep-promoting effect was associated with up-regulation of GABAA/GABAB and serotonin receptors. The NNE-mediated increase of GABA content was identified in flies. These results demonstrate that NNE effectively promotes sleep in flies by regulating the GABAergic/serotonergic neuromodulators, and could be an alternative agent for sleep promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Caffeine
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Insomnia
  • Nelumbo nucifera
  • Sleep
  • Γ-aminobutyric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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