Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the most abundant neurotrophic factors, and its deficits are involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorders (MDD). Loureirin C (Lou C) is a compound derived from red resin extracted from the stems of Chinese dragon's blood. Xanthoceraside (Xan) is a triterpenoid saponin extracted from the husks of Xanthoceras sorbifolia Bunge. These compounds have neuroprotective effects through upregulation of BDNF. The present study aimed to evaluate whether Lou C and Xan attenuate abnormal behaviors induced by chronic corticosterone (CORT) administration. CORT was administered subcutaneously to mice for 3 weeks, and Lou C and Xan, dispensed orally once a day during the last 2 weeks of CORT administration. Chronic CORT administration induced abnormal behaviors such as prolonged starting latency in the open field test, decreased social interaction time in the social interaction test and prolonged latency to eat in the novelty suppressed feeding test. Chronic CORT administration decreased the expression levels of BDNF and the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) in the prefrontal cortex. Lou C and Xan dose-dependently prevented the abnormal behaviors and decreased the expression levels of BDNF and in phosphorylation of AKT, mTOR, and CREB in the prefrontal cortex of CORT mice. These results suggest that Lou C and Xan could be attractive candidates for pharmacotherapy of MDD at least in part, given their propensity to increase BDNF expression and phosphorylation of AKT, mTOR, and CREB.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes