Next Article in Journal
Food Consumption, Nutrient Intake and Status during the First 1000 Days of Life in The Netherlands: A Systematic Review
Next Article in Special Issue
From Probiotics to Psychobiotics: Live Beneficial Bacteria Which Act on the Brain-Gut Axis
Previous Article in Journal
A Comprehensive Assessment of Apigenin as an Antiproliferative, Proapoptotic, Antiangiogenic and Immunomodulatory Phytocompound
Previous Article in Special Issue
Palatability of Goat’s versus Cow’s Milk: Insights from the Analysis of Eating Behavior and Gene Expression in the Appetite-Relevant Brain Circuit in Laboratory Animal Models
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

The Chinese Herbal Formula PAPZ Ameliorates Behavioral Abnormalities in Depressive Mice

MOE Key Laboratory of Protein Science, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama 2668501, Japan
Environmental Health Science, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
Research & Development Centre, Infinitus (China) Company Ltd., Guangzhou 510663, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 859;
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Central Nervous System)
PDF [1991 KB, uploaded 18 April 2019]


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a chronic mental disorder characterized by mixed symptoms and complex pathogenesis. With long history of practical application, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers many herbs for the treatment and rehabilitation of chronic disease. In this study, we developed a modified Chinese herbal formula using Panax ginseng, Angelica Sinensis, Polygala tenuifolia Willd, and Ziziphi spinosae Semen (PAPZ), based on an ancient TCM prescription. The antidepressant effects of PAPZ were investigated with a corticosterone (CORT) model of depression in mice. Our results showed that administration of PAPZ ameliorated depression-like phenotypes in the CORT model. An anatomic study showed that chronic PAPZ administration upregulated the protein expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in hippocampal tissue. The enzyme activity of superoxide dismutase was enhanced in hippocampal tissue, in line with a decreased malondialdehyde level. Taken together, these findings suggested that PAPZ has therapeutic effects in a mice depression model through increasing protein expression of BDNF and improving the anti-oxidation ability of the brain. View Full-Text
Keywords: major depressive disorder; Chinese herbal formula; corticosterone; BDNF; oxidative stress major depressive disorder; Chinese herbal formula; corticosterone; BDNF; oxidative stress

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, H.; Huang, Q.; Zhang, S.; Hu, K.; Xiong, W.; Xiao, L.; Cong, R.; Liu, Q.; Wang, Z. The Chinese Herbal Formula PAPZ Ameliorates Behavioral Abnormalities in Depressive Mice. Nutrients 2019, 11, 859.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top