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: 3.03). 11/2011; 227(1):305-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.11.016
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Furthermore, peony root was demonstrated to have sedative [60] and antidepressant-like effects in mice [61-66]. The antidepressant-like effect of peony root could be, at least in part, mediated by inhibiting monoamine oxidase activity, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, oxidative stress, and up-regulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor [62-66]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews the effectiveness of Kampo (traditional Japanese herbal medicine) in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders, especially functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The results of four randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) suggested the usefulness of rikkunshito in relieving the subjective symptoms of patients with FD. Rikkunshito significantly improved not only gastric symptoms, such as epigastiric discomfort, but also extra-gastric symptoms, such as general fatigue, when compared with control drugs. The therapeutic effects of rikkunshito were more evident when it was prescribed to patients with “kyosho”, i.e., low energy. Two RCTs suggested the efficacy of keishikashakuyakuto for IBS. Basic research studies have demonstrated that these Kampo medicines have multiple sites of action to improve subjective symptoms. For example, rikkunshito improves gastric motility dysfunction, including impaired adaptive relaxation and delayed gastric emptying, gastric hypersensitivity, and anorexia via facilitation of ghrelin secretion. It also exhibits anti-stress effects, i.e., it attenuates stress-induced exacerbation of gastric sensation and anorexia, as well as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis and sympathetic activation. Keishikashakuyakuto exhibited not only an antispasmodic effect on intestinal smooth muscle, but also antidepressant-like effects. Case series suggest that other Kampo prescriptions are also effective for FD and IBS. However, further studies are necessary to evaluate their efficacy.
    BioPsychoSocial Medicine 01/2014; 8(1):5. DOI:10.1186/1751-0759-8-5
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    • "Sucrose preference test was carried out 24 h after the last injection . The test was performed as described previously (Mao et al., 2012b). Briefly, 72 h before the test, mice were trained to adapt 1% sucrose solution (w/v): two bottles of 1% sucrose solution were placed in each cage, and 24 h later 1% sucrose in one bottle was replaced with tap water for 24 h. "
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    ABSTRACT: A mouse model of depression has been recently developed by exogenous corticosterone administration. The present study aimed to examine the antidepressant-like effect and the possible mechanisms of piperine, a major alkaloid of black pepper (Piper nigrum Linn.) and long pepper (Piperlongum Linn.), in corticosterone-induced depression in mice. The results showed that 3-weeks corticosterone injections caused depression-like behavior in mice, as indicated by the significant decrease in sucrose consumption and increase in immobility time in the forced swim test and tail suspension test. Moreover, it was found that brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein and mRNA levels in the hippocampus were significantly decreased in corticosterone-treated mice. Treating the animals with piperine significantly suppressed behavioral and biochemical changes induced by corticosterone. The results suggest that piperine produces an antidepressant-like effect in corticosterone-treated mice, which is possibly mediated by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the hippocampus.
    Neurochemistry International 01/2014; · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, glucocorticoids play a critical role in mediating stress-induced downregulation of BDNF in the hippocampus in animals [63]. Repeated corticosterone administration , like stress, decreased the BDNF levels in the hippocampus of normal or adrenalectomized rats [71] [72]. A significant hypersecretion of corticosterone with downregulation of hippocampal BDNF was also found in the GR-deficient mice [73]. "
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    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 03/2013; 2013:359682. DOI:10.1155/2013/359682 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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