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Antidepressant-Like Effects and Cognitive Enhancement of Coadministration of Chaihu Shugan San and Fluoxetine: Dependent on the BDNF-ERK-CREB Signaling Pathway in the Hippocampus and Frontal Cortex.


ABSTRACT: Background:Fluoxetine (FLU) is the first-line and widely used medication for depression; however, FLU treatment is almost ineffective in 30%-40% of patients with depression. In addition, there are some problems in FLU treatment, such as delayed efficacy, large side effects, and poor tolerance. Chaihu Shugan San (CSS) is a classic and effective antidepressant Chinese herbal medicine that has been used in China for thousands of years. CSS or coadministration of CSS and FLU has become one of the most recommended methods in the treatment of depression in China. However, the specific pathways of CSS and coadministration of CSS and FLU for antidepressant are still unclear. Objective:This study was designed to evaluate the antidepressant effects of CSS and coadministration of CSS and FLU. Methods:The chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) rat model was used to simulate depression. 120 healthy adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into seven groups: the control group, CUMS group, low-dose CSS group, high-dose CSS group, FLU group, coadministration of low-dose CSS and FLU group, and coadministration of high-dose CSS and FLU group. The rats in different groups were given different interventions. Then, the depression-like behavior and cognitive function were evaluated by the sucrose preference test (SPT), forced swimming test (FST), open field test (OFT), and Y-maze test. What is more, the antidepressant mechanism of CSS and coadministration of CSS and FLU were studied through BDNF mRNA, ERK mRNA, CREB mRNA, BDNF, p-ERK/ERK, and p-CREB/CREB levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex by Western blot and RT-PCR. Results:Compared with the CUMS group, CSS and coadministration of CSS and FLU could alleviate the depressive symptoms and improve cognitive function in CUMS rats (p < 0.05); CSS and coadministration of CSS and FLU could increase the expression of BDNF, p-CREB/CREB, p-ERK/ERK, and BDNF mRNA, CREB mRNA, and ERK mRNA in the hippocampus and frontal cortex (p < 0.05); CSS and coadministration of CSS and FLU could increase the expression of BDNF, p-CREB/CREB, p-ERK/ERK, and BDNF mRNA, CREB mRNA, and ERK mRNA in the hippocampus and frontal cortex (p < 0.05); CSS and coadministration of CSS and FLU could increase the expression of BDNF, p-CREB/CREB, p-ERK/ERK, and BDNF mRNA, CREB mRNA, and ERK mRNA in the hippocampus and frontal cortex (Discussion and Conclusion. Finally, we found that both CSS and coadministration of CSS and FLU play an antidepressant role, which may be due to the regulation of the BDNF/ERK/CREB signaling pathway in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. Among them, the coadministration of CSS and FLU can enhance the antidepressant effect of CSS or FLU alone, and the underlying mechanism needs further investigation.

SUBMITTER: Yan L 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7060874 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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