Psychiatry Investig.  2017 Jan;14(1):74-80. 10.4306/pi.2017.14.1.74.

Reversion of BDNF, Akt and CREB in Hippocampus of Chronic Unpredictable Stress Induced Rats: Effects of Phytochemical, Bacopa Monnieri

  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
  • 2Department of Physiology, Raja Peary Mohan College, Uttarpara, Hooghly, West Bengal, India.
  • 3School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.


OBJECTIVE: The aims of the present study were to explore the behavioural effects and to understand the possible mode of action of Bacopa monnieri extract (BME) on chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) induced depressive model and the biochemical alterations such as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Akt, cyclic-AMP response element binding (CREB) protein level in the hippocampus of rats.
We examined the effects of chronic administration of BME on CUS exposed rats for 28 days. Behavioural changes were assessed by sucrose consumption and open field test to assess the effect of BME on CUS-induced depression. The mechanisms underlying antidepressant like action of BME was further evaluated by measuring levels of BDNF, Akt, and CREB in the hippocampus of rat brain and compared with the standard tricyclic antidepressant drug imipramine (20 mg/kg body weight).
Exposure to CUS for 28 days produced depression-like behavior in rats, as indicated by significant decreases in sucrose consumption, locomotor activity including decreased BDNF, Akt and CREB levels in the hippocampus. Daily administration of BME at a dose of (80 mg/kg body weight) significantly reverses the behavioral alteration and restored the normal level of BDNF, total and phospho-Akt, total and phospho CREB in the hippocampus of CUS induced rats as compared to vehicle treated control rats.
These findings suggest that BME ameliorates CUS induced behavioural depression in rats and that can be used as a potent therapeutic agent in treating depressive like behavior.


Akt; Antidepressant activity; Bacopa monnieri; BDNF; CREB; CUS; Hippocampus
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