Saikosaponin A improved depression-like behavior and inhibited hippocampal neuronal apoptosis after cerebral ischemia through p-CREB/BDNF pathway.
Behav Brain Res. 2021 Apr 9 ;403:113138. Epub 2021 Jan 22. PMID: 33493495
Post-stroke depression(PSD) is a common complication and associates with poor physical recovery, low quality of life and high mortality after cerebral infarction. However, the pathogenesis of PSD have not been elucidated thoroughly now, and there is a lack of effective therapy in clinic. It reported that Saikosaponin A, one of the main constituents from Chinese herb Bupleurum chinense, has pharmacological activity in anti-depression. Thus, this study aimed to elucidate the potential effects and mechanisms of Saikosaponin A on the depression-like behavior after cerebral ischemic injury in rats. The rat model of PSD was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion(MCAO) combined with chronic unpredictable mild stress(CUMS) and isolation. Behavior tests including open field test, beam-walking test, sucrose preference and forced swimming tests were performed. Western blot and immunohistochemistry were adopted to evaluate expression of phosphorylated cAMP response element binding protein(p-CREB), brain derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF) and apoptosis-related molecules in the dentate gyrus region of rat hippocampus. The TUNEL assay was used to determine neuronal apoptosis. We found that the rats subjected to MCAO combined with CUMS and isolation experienced significant depressive-like behavior. Administration of Saikosaponin A significantly ameliorated depressive-like behavior, and inhibited neuronal apoptosis, enhanced the level of p-CREB, BDNF and Bcl-2, reduced the level of Bax, Caspase-3 in the hippocampus of PSD rats. These results revealed that Saikosaponin A improved depression-like behavior and inhibited hippocampal neuronal apoptosis after cerebral ischemia, presumably through increasing the expression of BDNF, p-CREB and Bcl-2, as well as decreasing the level of Bax, Caspase-3.