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Ameliorative effects of Radix rehmanniae extract on the anxiety- and depression-like symptoms in ovariectomized mice: A behavioral and molecular study

Zhou, Xi-Dan, Shi, Dong-Dong, Zhang, Zhang-Jin
Phytomedicine 2019 v.63 pp. 153012
antidepressants, anxiety, biomarkers, blood serum, brain, dopamine, estrogen receptors, estrogens, gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamic acid, herbal medicines, menopause, metabolites, mice, nerve growth factor, neurotransmitters, ovariectomy, risk, serotonin, shrinkage, tissues, tranquilizers, uterus, weight gain, women
Menopause is closely associated with the risk of anxiety and depression in a woman's life. Despite the numerous reports on the effects of Radix rehmanniae extract (RRE) on various types of depression, there are few studies exploring the effects of RRE on the menopausal anxiety and depression.To investigate whether RRE could alleviate the menopausal anxiety and depression in ovariectomized (OVX) mice submitted to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS).OVX mice were treated with 2.6 g/kg RRE for 5 weeks. After a series of behavior tests, serum, uterus, and brain tissues were collected for the measurement of neurotransmitters and their related biomarkers, neurotrophins, and estrogen receptor α (ERα) and β (ERβ).RRE showed antidepressant and anxiolytic effects through these behavior tests, but had no effects on the OVX-induced weight gains, uterine shrinkage and drop of serum estrogen level. RRE restored the levels of serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA) and its metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), Glutamate (Glu), gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) and their related biomarkers in different brain regions. RRE also reversed OVX-induced decrease in the expression levels of neurotrophins in uterus and brain regions except for uterine nerve growth factor (NGF). Moreover, RRE restored and even enhanced ERβ expression levels in uterus and brain without affecting uterine, hippocampal and cortical ERα.This study demonstrated the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of RRE in OVX mice, which were possibly mediated via their modulation of brain neurotransmitters, and regulation of neurotrophins and activation of ERβ.