Antidepressant-like effects of ferulic acid: involvement of serotonergic and norepinergic systems.
Metab Brain Dis. 2015 Feb ;30(1):129-36. Epub 2014 Dec 9. PMID: 25483788
Ferulic acid is a polyphenol that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. The present study analyzed the antidepressant-like potential of ferulic acid using two well-validated mouse models of despair test, tail suspension and forced swim tests. The results suggested that ferulic acid treatment at doses of 10, 20, 40 and 80 mg/kg (p.o.) significantly reduced the immobility time in both of these two tests. These doses that affected the depressive-like behaviors did now show any effect on locomotion counts. The further neurochemical assays suggested that ferulic acid increased monoamine neurotransmitter levels in the brain regions that are relative to mood disorders: the hippocampus and frontal cortex. The increased tend to serotonin and norepinephrine was also found in the hypothalamus after higher dose of ferulic acid treatment. The subsequent study suggested that monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) activity was inhibited in the frontal cortex and hippocampus when treatment with 40 and 80 mg/kg ferulic acid; while MAO-B activity did not change significantly. The current study provides the first lines of evidence that serotonin and norepinephrine, but not dopamine levels were elevated in mouse hippocampus and frontal cortex after ferulic acid treatment. These changes may be attributable to the inhibition of MAO-A activities in the same brain regions.