Abstract Title:

Berberine and Ginsenoside Rb1 Ameliorate Depression-Like Behavior in Diabetic Rats.

Abstract Source:

Am J Chin Med. 2021 May 27:1-19. Epub 2021 May 27. PMID: 34049474

Abstract Author(s):

Jing-Hua Zhang, Hui-Zeng Yang, Hao Su, Jun Song, Yu Bai, Lan Deng, Chun-Peng Feng, Hong-Xia Guo, Yi Wang, Xin Gao, Yan Gu, Zhong Zhen, Yao Lu

Article Affiliation:

Jing-Hua Zhang


(Huang-lian) and Asianhave been widely used in the treatment of diabetes and other concurrent diseases with apparent effects. This study investigated the effects of the active ingredients ofand, berberine and ginsenoside Rb1, on depression-like behavior in a rat diabetes model. The animal model was established via a high-fat diet and intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin, while the animal's depression-like behavior was induced via chronic unpredictable mild stress. These experimental rats were divided into four groups: control, depression-like behavior (DLB), metformin plus fluoxetine hydrochloride (M+FH), and berberine plus ginsenoside Rb1 (B+GRb1) groups. Glucose metabolism and insulin resistance were evaluated by oral glucose test and glucose clamp study. Depression-like behavior was evaluated via behavioral analyses, including forced swim, sucrose preference, elevated plus maze, and open-field tests. HE and Nissl staining, plasma cortisol expression of adrenocorticotropic hormone, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels were assayed to explore the mechanisms of action. Compared with the control, rats in the DLB group had a significant increase in the levels of blood glucose and depression-like behavior. The B+GRb1 group significantly improved glucose metabolism and insulin resistance, reduced depression-like behavior, downregulated levels of plasma cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone under stress, and upregulated BDNF protein expression compared to the DLB rats. HE and Nissl staining data revealed that B+GRb1 protected neurons from pathological and morphological changes. Thus, berberine and ginsenoside Rb1 not only improved glucose metabolism in diabetic rats but also ameliorated their depression-like behavior under chronic unpredictable stress. Mechanistically, studied data with plasma hormonal levels and brain neuronal pathological/morphological changes supported the observed effects. The combination of berberine and ginsenoside Rb1 may have a clinical value in the management of diabetic patients with depression.

Study Type : Animal Study

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Sayer Ji
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