Article

Peony glycosides reverse the effects of corticosterone on behavior and brain BDNF expression in rats

School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong.
Behavioural brain research (Impact Factor: 3.39). 11/2011; 227(1):305-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.11.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Repeated injections of corticosterone (CORT) induce the dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, resulting in depressive-like behavior. This study aimed to examine the antidepressant-like effect and the possible mechanisms of total glycosides of peony (TGP) in the CORT-induced depression model in rats. The results showed that the 3-week CORT injections induced the significant increase in serum CORT levels in rats. Repeated CORT injections also caused depression-like behavior in rats, as indicated by the significant decrease in sucrose consumption and increase in immobility time in the forced swim test. Moreover, it was found that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex were significantly decreased in CORT-treated rats. Treatment of the rats with TGP significantly suppressed the depression-like behavior and increased brain BDNF levels in CORT-treated rats. The results suggest that TGP produces an antidepressant-like effect in CORT-treated rats, which is possibly mediated by increasing BDNF expression in the hippocampus and frontal cortex.

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