[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many health experts support the hypothesis that stressful lifestyles are the leading cause of illness, like depression. Therefore, from the standpoint of preventive medicine, it is important to reduce stress. Young green barley leaves are a good natural source of vitamins and minerals, and their juice is widely consumed as a functional food for health reasons in Japan. This study investigated the protective effect of young green barley leaves for stress control.
ICR outbred mice were exposed to 3-h sessions of restraint stress. Young green barley leaves (400 and 1,000 mg/kg) were administered orally 1 h before the sessions for 5 days. To analyze voluntary behavior, wheel-running activity was monitored during the dark period. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in the whole hippocampus was measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
Restraint stress resulted in a significant decrease in voluntary wheel-running behavior, but this decrease was ameliorated by the administration of young green barley leaves. The leaves also enhanced the decreased levels of BDNF mRNA induced by restraint stress; in particular, a significant protective effect was shown in the exon IV variant as compared to vehicle control mice.
The findings suggest that young green barley leaves have potent anti-stress properties, as evidenced by preventing decreases in the levels of voluntary wheel-running activity and hippocampal BDNF mRNA in response to restraint stress. Our findings support the possibility that supplementation with young green barley leaves might be beneficial for preventing stress-related psychiatric disorders like depression.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · Pharmacognosy Magazine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence and prevalence of depression is higher in women than in men, but the cause of this sex discrepancy remains unknown. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key protein for maintaining neuronal integrity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the female preponderance in behavioral responsivity to restraint stress focusing on the stress reactivity of BDNF in the hippocampus. Male and female ICR mice were exposed to a 3-h session of restraint stress. Plasma corticosterone was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. BDNF mRNA expression in the whole hippocampus was measured by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Wheel-running activity was monitored during the dark period. In response to restraint stress, the increase in levels of serum corticosterone was higher in female than in male mice. Restraint stress resulted in decreased voluntary wheel-running behavior that was greater in female than male animals. In addition to these sex differences in stress reactivity, we found a significant sex difference in BDNF levels in the hippocampus of restraint-stressed mice; total BDNF levels significantly decreased in female mice, but not in male mice in response to the stress. Furthermore, BDNF exon I and IV mRNA expression also showed the same tendency. These data indicate that the reduction in levels of voluntary wheel-running activity in response to stress can be significantly influenced by sex. Moreover, our findings suggest a link between the sex differences in this behavioral response to stress and differential stress reactivity in the production of BDNF in the hippocampus.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously reported that bilberry anthocyanins exhibit an anti-pruritic effect in a mouse model of allergic contact dermatitis. It has been reported that anthocyanins are particularly sensitive to thermal treatment and are easily hydrolyzed to anthocyanidins when exposed to high temperatures. The objective of this study was to compare the anti-pruritic effect of anthocyanin-rich quality-controlled bilberry extract and anthocyanidin-rich degraded extract using a mouse model of allergic contact dermatitis. BALB/c mice with allergic contact dermatitis induced by 4 weeks of repeated application of 2,4,6-trinitro-1-chlorobenzene (TNCB) were administered Bilberon-25 orally for 4 weeks after sensitization with TNCB. The effect of Bilberon-25 on pruritus was evaluated by measurement of scratching behavior. RBL-2H3 mast cells were used to investigate the effect of Bilberon-25 on degranulation in 48/80-stimulated mast cells. Compared with nonheated Bilberon-25, the proportion of anthocyanins in heated Bilberon-25 decreased, and the proportion of anthocyanidins was increased in heated-time dependent manner. Treatment with non-heated Bilberon-25 significantly attenuated the TNCB-induced increase in scratching behavior, whereas treatment with 2 h-heated Bilberon-25 did not. Moreover, 300 μg/mL nonheated Bilberon-25 showed significant inhibition of degranulation in RBL-2H3 mast cells, whereas 2 h-heated Bilberon-25 had no effect at any concentration studied. It is assumed that the inhibitory effect of bilberry anthocyanins on pruritus might be mediated, at least in part, by its inhibitory effect on mast cell degranulation. In conclusion, the anthocyanin-rich but not anthocyanidin-rich bilberry extract may be a useful dietary supplement for skin diseases involving pruritic symptoms, such as chronic allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and rhinitis.
No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Food Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Young green barley leaf is one of the richest sources of antioxidants and has been widely consumed for health management in Japan. In this study, we examined whether oral administration of young green barley leaf has an antidepressant effect on the forced swimming test in mice.
Mice were individually forced to swim in an open cylindrical container, one hour after oral administration of young green barley leaf (400 or 1000 mg / kg) or imipramine (100 mg / kg). Expression of mRNA for nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glucocorticoid receptor in the brain was analyzed using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
There was a significant antidepressant-like effect in the forced swimming test; both 400 and 1000 mg / kg young green barley leaves, as well as the positive control imipramine (100 mg / kg), reduced the immobility duration compared to the vehicle group. The expression of mRNA for NGF detected in the hippocampus immediately after the last swimming test was higher than that in the non-swimming group (Nil). Oral administration of imipramine suppressed this increase to the level of the Nil group. Young green barley leaf (400 and 1000 mg / kg) also showed a moderate decrease in the expression of mRNA for NGF, in a dose-dependent manner.
Oral administration of young green barley leaf is able to produce an antidepressant-like effect in the forced swimming test. Consequently it is possible that the antidepressant-like effects of the young green barley leaf are, at least in part, mediated by an inhibition of the increase in the hippocampus levels of NGF.
No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Pharmacognosy Research