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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Dec;114-115:64-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2013.10.028. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

Antidepressant-like effect of resveratrol: involvement of antioxidant effect and peripheral regulation on HPA axis.

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Anhui Key Laboratory of Bioactivity of Natural Products, School of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China. Electronic address:


This study focused on exploring the antidepressant potential of resveratrol (RES) and its possible mechanisms of action. Cell injury was induced by corticosterone (CORT) and detected through cell viability and contents of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and malonaldehyde (MDA). A rat model of depression was established through 3weeks of consecutive chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS), and both the depression-like behaviors and the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were tested. Apart from the inhibitory effect on MDA production in vitro and in vivo, the results showed that RES (10(-10)mol/L to 10(-5)mol/L) could significantly increase the cell viability and decrease the LDH activity and that RES (15mg/kg) treatment could alleviate the depression-like behavior of CUMS rats, as indicated by increased sucrose preference and decreased immobility in forced swimming test and tail suspension test. Rats that received RES treatment displayed a reduction of serum CORT, suggesting that RES affected the hyperactivity of the HPA axis in CUMS rats. However, RES did not affect the expression of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA in the hypothalamus of CUMS rats. In summary, our results demonstrated that in addition to its widely known antioxidant properties, RES also has antidepressant-like effects, and suggested that the underlying mechanism might involve its peripheral effect on the regulation of the HPA axis.


Antioxidation; Depression; Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis; Resveratrol

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