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07.09.2018 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 1/2019

Journal of Natural Medicines 1/2019

Ameliorative effect of Xiaoyao-jieyu-san on post-stroke depression and its potential mechanisms

Journal of Natural Medicines > Ausgabe 1/2019
Changde Wang, Chunlan Wu, Zhenguo Yan, Xiao Cheng


A stroke is a severe life-threatening disease with high fatality and disability rate. This investigation aimed to study the effect of Xiaoyao-jieyu-san (XYJY) on post-stroke depression (PSD) and its potential mechanisms. PSD rats were prepared using middle cerebral artery embolization (MCAO) and chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS), and divided into six groups (n = 10)—sham; MCAO; MCAO + CUMS (PSD); PSD + fluoxetine (1.84 mg/kg/day, 4 weeks); and PSD + XYJY (450 mg/kg/day and 900 mg/kg/day, 4 weeks). Body weight recording, despair swimming test, and sucrose preference test were performed at 0, 3 and 7 weeks. Histopathological examination and levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), norepinephrine (NE) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens (VTA-NAc) tissue were determined at the end of a 7-week period. Real-time polymerase chain reaction PCR was used to determine mRNA expression of 5-HT1AR and 5-HT2AR, and Western blot was performed to determine expression of BDNF, corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), and cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) in VTA-NAc tissue. High-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray mass spectroscopy revealed that the constituents of XYJY are mainly paeoniflorin, imperatorin, naringin, arnesene, 2,3,5,4′-tetrahydroxyl-diphenylethylene-2-O-glucoside, kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside, quercetin, hesperidin, cycloastragenol and atractylenolide III. XYJY (900 mg/kg) increased the body weight of PSD rats, while XYJY (450 mg/kg and 900 mg/kg) shortened the duration of immobility and enhanced the sucrose preference of PSD rats. XYJY (450 mg/kg and 900 mg/kg) increased the levels of 5-HT, NE and BNDF, up-regulated mRNA expression of 5-HT1AR, down-regulated 5-HT2AR, and up-regulated BNDF, CB1R, and CB2R expression in the VTA-NAc tissue of PSD rats but down-regulated CRF. Collectively, the present findings suggested that XYJY has an ameliorative effect on PSD in rats via modulation of BNDF, cannabinoid receptors and CRF in VTA-NAc tissue.

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