Pterostilbene, an active component of the dragon's blood extract, acts as an antidepressant in adult rats.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019 Jan 4. Epub 2019 Jan 4. PMID: 30607481
BACKGROUND: Hippocampal neurogenesis has been widely considered as one of the potential biological mechanisms for the treatment of depression caused by chronic stress. Many natural products have been reported to be beneficial for neurogenesis.
OBJECTIVES: The present study is designed to investigate the effect of dragon's blood extract (DBE) and its biologically active compound, pterostilbene (PTE), on hippocampal neurogenesis.
METHODS: The male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were used in this study, which were maintained on the normal, DBE and PTE diet groups for 4 weeks before dissection in the normal rat model and behavioral testing in the CUS depression rat model. Meanwhile, DMI-treated rats are subcutaneously injected with DMI (10 mg/kg, i.p.).
RESULTS: Results revealed that DBE and PTE have the ability to promote hippocampal neurogenesis. DBE and PTE also promoted the proliferation of neural stem cells isolated from the brain of suckling rats. Oral administration of DBE and PTE induced the proliferation, migration, and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in chronic unexpected stressed (CUS) model rats, and improved the behavioral ability and alleviated depress-like symptoms of CUS rats. It was also observed that PTE treatment significantly induced the expression of neurogenesis-related factors, including BDNF, pERK, and pCREB.
CONCLUSION: Oral administration of PTE could affect neurogenesis and it is likely to be achieved via BDNF/ERK/CREB-associated signaling pathways.