Antidepressant-like effect of essential oil of Perilla frutescens in a chronic, unpredictable, mild stress-induced depression model mice.
Chin J Nat Med. 2014 Oct ;12(10):753-9. Epub 2014 Oct 31. PMID: 25443368
Perilla frutescens (Perilla leaf), a garnishing vegetable in East Asian countries, as well as a plant-based medicine, has been used for centuries to treat various conditions, including depression. Several studies have demonstrated that the essential oil of P. frutescens (EOPF) attenuated the depressive-like behavior in mice. The present study was designed to test the anti-depressant effects of EOPF and the possible mechanisms in an chronic, unpredictable, mild stress (CUMS)-induced mouse model. With the exposure to stressor once daily for five consecutive weeks, EOPF (3, 6, and 9 mg·kg(-1)) and a positive control drug fluoxetine (20 mg·kg(-1)) were administered through gastric intubation to mice once daily for three consecutive weeks from the 3(rd) week. Open-field test, sucrose consumption test, tail suspension test (TST), and forced swimming test (FST) were used to evaluate the behavioral activity. The contents of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and its metabolite, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), in mouse hippocampus were determined by HPLC-ECD. Serum interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results showed that CUMS significantly decreased the levels of 5-HT and 5-HIAA in the hippocampus, with an increase in plasma IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α levels. CUMS also reduced open-field activity, sucrose consumption, as well as increased immobility duration in FST and TST. EOPF administration could effectively reverse the alterations in the concentrations of 5-HT and 5-HIAA; reduce the IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α levels. Moreover, EOPF could effectively reverse alterations in immobility duration, sucrose consumption, and open-field activity. However, the effect was not dose-dependent. In conclusion, EOPF administration exhibited significant antidepressant-like effects in mice with CUMS-induced depression. The antidepressant activity of EOPF might be related to the relation between alteration of serotonergic responses and anti-inflammatory effects.