Flavonoid-Like Components of Peanut Stem and Leaf Extract Promote Sleep by Decreasing Neuronal Excitability

Rui Guo, Ai Min Shi, Lei Deng, Lei Li, Lie Chen Wang, Antwi Boasiako Oteng, Meng Ping Wei, Zhi Hao Zhao, Guido Hooiveld, Chen Zhang, Qiang Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Scope: Peanut stem and leaf (PSL), a traditional Chinese medicine, is widely used as a dietary supplement to improve sleep quality; however, the underlying mechanism is unclear. Here, the study aims to determine whether active compounds in PSL extract exert their effects by mediating neuronal excitability. Methods and Results: Aqueous PSL extract (500 mg kg−1 BW) increases the duration of total sleep (TS), slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) in BALB/c mice after 7 and 14 continuous days of intragastric administration. Two PSL extract components with flavonoid-like structures: 4',7-di-O-methylnaringenin (DMN, 61 µg kg−1 BW) and 2’-O-methylisoliquiritigenin (MIL, 12 µg kg−1 BW), show similar effects on sleep in BALB/c mice. Moreover, incubation with DMN (50 µM) and MIL (50 µM) acutely reduces voltage-gated sodium and potassium currents and suppresses the firing of evoked action potential in mouse cortical neurons, indicating the inhibition on neuronal excitability. Meanwhile, RNA-seq analysis predicts the potential regulation of voltage-gated channels, which is according with the molecular docking simulation that both MIL and DMN can bind to voltage gated sodium channels 1.2 (Nav1.2). Conclusions: DMN and MIL are the active ingredients of PSL that improve sleep quality, suggesting that PSL promotes sleep by regulating the excitability of neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100210
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number1
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • flavonoid
  • neuronal excitability
  • peanut stem and leaf
  • sleep
  • voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels


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