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Tiansi Liquid Modulates Gut Microbiota Composition and Tryptophan–Kynurenine Metabolism in Rats with Hydrocortisone-Induced Depression

1
School of Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
2
School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 102488, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Wayne W. Harding
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2832; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112832
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 21 October 2018 / Accepted: 27 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychoactive Natural Products)
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Abstract

Tiansi Liquid is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine used to treat depression; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we examined the effect of Tiansi Liquid in a rat model of hydrocortisone-induced depression using behavioral testing, 16S rRNA high-throughput pyrosequencing and high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics of the tryptophan (TRP)–kynurenine (KYN) pathway. Tiansi Liquid significantly improved the sucrose preference and exploratory behavior of the depressive rats. The richness of intestinal mucosa samples from the model (depressive) group tended to be higher than that from the control group, while the richness was higher in the Tiansi Liquid-treated group than in the model group. Tiansi Liquid increased the relative abundance of some microbiota (Ruminococcaceae, Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Lachnospiraceae_NK4A136_group). Metabolomics showed that Tiansi Liquid reduced the levels of tryptophan 2,3 dioxygenase, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, quinoline and the KYN/TRP ratio, while increasing kynurenic acid and 5-HT levels. Correlation analysis revealed a negative relationship between the relative abundance of the Lachnospiraceae_NK4A136_group and quinoline content. Collectively, these findings suggest that Tiansi Liquid ameliorates depressive symptoms in rats by modulating the gut microbiota composition and metabolites in the TRP–KYN pathway. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tiansi Liquid; antidepressant effects; 16S rRNA high-throughput pyrosequencing; gut microbiota; high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; tryptophan–kynurenine pathway Tiansi Liquid; antidepressant effects; 16S rRNA high-throughput pyrosequencing; gut microbiota; high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; tryptophan–kynurenine pathway
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Cheng, D.; Chang, H.; Ma, S.; Guo, J.; She, G.; Zhang, F.; Li, L.; Li, X.; Lu, Y. Tiansi Liquid Modulates Gut Microbiota Composition and Tryptophan–Kynurenine Metabolism in Rats with Hydrocortisone-Induced Depression. Molecules 2018, 23, 2832.

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