Antidepressant-like Effect of 3-n-Butylphthalide in Rats Exposed to Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress: Modulation of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Level and mTOR Activation in Cortex.
Neurochem Res. 2021 Aug 10. Epub 2021 Aug 10. PMID: 34374900
3-n-Butylphthalide (NBP), an extract from seeds of Apium graveolens Linn. (Chinese celery), has been demonstrated to have antidepressant effects in suspension chronic-stressed rats by our group. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible involvement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the antidepressant mechanism of NBP. Chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) was applied for 6 weeks to induced a depressive-like behavior, characterized by decreased locomotor activity, sucrose preference and the NE, DA and 5-HT levels in cortex. Oral treatment with NBP (30 or 100 mg/kg, p.o.), similarly to fluoxetine (2 mg/kg, p.o.), can prevention of these alterations. The NBP (30 or 100 mg/kg, p.o.) reversed the decrease in the BDNF, p-ERK, mTOR and synapsin-1 protein levels in rat cortex caused by CUMS. And rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, completely inhibited the antidepressant-like activity of NBP in vivo. In conclusion, these findings indicate that NBP treatment attenuated thedepression-like behaviors through the modulation of serotonergic system and BDNF-ERK-mTOR signaling in rat.