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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:512697. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nen045. Epub 2011 Jun 22.

Antidepressant-like Effect of l-perillaldehyde in Stress-induced Depression-like Model Mice through Regulation of the Olfactory Nervous System.

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Oriental Medicine Research Center, The Kitasato Institute, Japan.


Perillae Herba (a leaf of Perilla frutescens) has been prescribed as one of the component herbs in certain Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicines that are used clinically for the improvement of depressive mood. l-Perillaldehyde (PAH) is a major component in the essential oil containing in Perillae Herba, but its antidepressant-like effect has not been reported. To clarify the antidepressant-like effect of PAH, the inhaled effect of PAH on stress-induced depression-like model mice prepared by subjection to a combination of forced swimming and chronic mild stresses was investigated. The degree of the depression-like state was measured by the animal's duration of immobility using a forced swimming test. Inhalation of PAH (0.0965 and 0.965 mg/mouse/day, 9 days) significantly shortened the duration of immobility of the depression-like model mice and did not affect locomotor activity. However, another odor substance, cinnamaldehyde containing in Cinnamomi Cortex, exhibited no reduction in the immobility. The reduction in the immobility induced by the inhalation of PAH was prevented on anosmia-induced mice prepared by intranasal irrigation with zinc sulfate. These results suggest that the inhalation of PAH shows antidepressant-like activity through the olfactory nervous function.

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