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Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5634-5649;

β-Asarone Reverses Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress-Induced Depression-Like Behavior and Promotes Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Rats

Department of Pathology, Qiqihar Medical University, 333 BuKui Street, JianHua District, Qiqihar 161006, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 March 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: depression; β-asarone; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; neurogenesis 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.

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