Quercetin-3-o-glucuronide in the ethanol extract of lotus leaf (Nelumbo nucifera) enhances sleep quantity and quality in a rodent model via a gabaergic mechanism

Singeun Kim, Ki Bae Hong, Kyungae Jo, Hyung Joo Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Current pharmacological treatments for insomnia carry several and long-term side effects. Therefore, natural products without side effects are warranted. In this study, the sleep-promoting activity of the lotus leaf (Nelumbo nucifera) extract was assessed using ICR mice and Sprague Dawley rats. A pentobarbital-induced sleep test and electroencephalogram analysis were conducted to measure sleep latency time, duration, and sleep architecture. The action mechanism of the extract was evaluated through ligand binding experiments. A high dose (300 mg/kg) of the ethanolic lotus leaf extract significantly increased sleep duration compared to the normal group (p < 0.01). Administration of low (150 mg/kg) and high doses (300 mg/kg) of the extract significantly increased sleep quality, especially the relative power of theta waves (p < 0.05), compared to the normal group. Furthermore, caffeine and lotus leaf extract administration significantly recovered caffeine-induced sleep disruption (p < 0.001), and the sleep quality was similar to that of the normal group. Additionally, ligand binding assay using [3 H]-flumazenil revealed that quercetin-3-O-glucuronide contained in the lotus leaf extract (77.27 µg/mg of extract) enhanced sleep by binding to GABAA receptors. Collectively, these results indicated that the lotus leaf extract, particularly quercetin-3-O-glucuronide, exhibits sleep quantity-and quality-enhancing activity via the GABAergic pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3023
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Nelumbo nucifera
  • Non-rapid eye movement sleep
  • Quercetin-3-O-glucuronide
  • Sleep duration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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