Abstract: In this study, we investigated the influence of β-asarone, the major ingredient of Acorus tatarinowii Schott, on depressive-like behavior induced by the chronic unpredictable mild stresses (CUMS) paradigm and to clarify the underlying mechanisms. The results show that β-asarone treatment partially reversed the CUMS-induced depression-like behaviors in both the forced swim and sucrose preference tests. The behavioral effects were associated with increased hippocampal neurogenesis indicated by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) immunoreactivity. β-Asarone treatment significantly increased the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) at levels of transcription and translation. Moreover, CUMS caused significant reduction in ERK1/2 and CREB phosphorylation, both of which were partially attenuated by β-asarone administration. It is important to note that β-asarone treatment had no effect on total levels or phosphorylation state of any of the proteins examined in ERK1/2-CREB pathway in no stress rats, suggesting that β-asarone acts in a stress-dependent manner to block ERK1/2-CREB signaling. We did not observe a complete reversal of depression-like behaviors to control levels by β-asarone. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to demonstrate that adult neurogenesis is involved in the antidepressant-like behavioral effects of β-asarone, suggesting that β-asarone is a promising candidate for the treatment of depression.
Keywords: depression; β-asarone; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; neurogenesis
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Dong, H.; Gao, Z.; Rong, H.; Jin, M.; Zhang, X. β-Asarone Reverses Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress-Induced Depression-Like Behavior and Promotes Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Rats. Molecules 2014, 19, 5634-5649.
Dong H, Gao Z, Rong H, Jin M, Zhang X. β-Asarone Reverses Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress-Induced Depression-Like Behavior and Promotes Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Rats. Molecules. 2014; 19(5):5634-5649.
Dong, Haiying; Gao, Zhiying; Rong, Hua; Jin, Ming; Zhang, Xiaojie. 2014. "β-Asarone Reverses Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress-Induced Depression-Like Behavior and Promotes Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Rats." Molecules 19, no. 5: 5634-5649.