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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:173565. doi: 10.1155/2012/173565. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Mechanistic study on the antidepressant-like effect of danggui-shaoyao-san, a chinese herbal formula.

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  • 1College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang Chinese Medicine University, Hangzhou 310053, China.


Danggui-Shaoyao-San (DSS), a famous Chinese herbal formula, has been widely used in the treatment of various diseases. Previous studies have shown that DSS produces antidepressant-like effect in rodents. This study aims to investigate the mechanism(s) underlying the antidepressant-like action of DDS. The results showed that DSS treatment significantly antagonized reserpine-induced ptosis in mice. In addition, DSS treatment significantly increased sucrose consumption in chronic unpredictable stress- (CUS-) treated mice. DSS treatment also markedly attenuated CUS-induced decreases in noradrenaline and dopamine concentrations in mouse brain. Furthermore, DSS treatment significantly reversed CUS-induced increase in serum malondialdehyde (MDA) content and decrease in serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in mice. The results suggest that the antidepressant-like activity of DSS is probably mediated by the modulation of central monoamine neurotransmitter systems and the reduction of oxidative stress.

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