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Phytomedicine. 2010 Aug;17(10):794-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.01.004. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

Potential antidepressant properties of Radix Polygalae (Yuan Zhi).

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Department of Natural Medicinal Chemistry, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210038, China.


Radix Polygalae ("Yuan Zhi", the roots of Polygala tenuifolia Willd., YZ) is an important herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to mediate depression. The present study was designed to verify the antidepressant effects of the standardized YZ ethanol extract (YZE) and its four fractions YZ-30, YZ-50, YZ-70 and YZ-90 on the tail suspension (TST) and forced swimming test (FST). Furthermore, the standardization of the fractions obtained from the separation procedures was carried out by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-fingerprint. The YZ-50 fraction (Oligosaccharide esters--enriched, oral (200 mg/kg) showed a significant anti-immobility like effects. The data of YZ-50 on the corticosterone-induced injure of SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell indicated that YZ-50 may have biological effects on neuroprotection. Proliferation of cell lines was assessed by dimethylthiazoldiphenyltetrazoliumbromide (MTT) and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation assays. It was found that YZ-50 and its two bioactive compounds, 3,6'-di-o-sinapoyl-sucrose (DISS) and tenuifoliside A(TEA) showed protection activities in SY5Y cells from the lesion. By using bioassay-screening methods, our results indicate that the presence of oligosaccharide esters such as DISS and TEA in this herb may be responsible for the cytoprotective activity effects.

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