Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most prevalent and serious psychiatric disease involving inflammation. Loureirin C and Xanthoceraside are extracts of dragon’s blood and Xanthoceras sorbifolia Bunge, respectively, which have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, we examined whether Loureirin C and Xanthoceraside attenuated depression-like behaviors and inflammation induced by chronic unpredicted mild stress (CUMS) in mice. Adult C57BL/6 J mice exposed to CUMS for 4 weeks showed depression-like behaviors characterized by hyperactivity in a novel environment, decreased interaction time in the social interaction test, prolongation of eating latency in the novelty suppressed feeding test, and increased immobility in the forced swimming test. CUMS increased the expression of interleukin-17 (IL-17) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). One week after exposure to CUMS, the mice were treated with Loureirin C (0.64 mg/kg) or Xanthoceraside (1.28 mg/kg) once a day for 3 weeks during CUMS. Loureirin C and Xanthoceraside significantly attenuated CUMS-induced behavioral impairment. Furthermore, both Loureirin C and Xanthoceraside prevented IL-17 expression induced by CUMS in the PFC. This data suggests that Loureirin C and Xanthoceraside have antidepressant-like properties that may be associated with the inhibition of IL-17 expression.
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