Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Sep 9;17(1):456. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1963-1.

Modulation of hippocampal neuronal activity by So-ochim-tang-gamibang in mice subjected to chronic restraint stress.

Author information

Department of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon, 34520, Republic of Korea.
Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Daejeon University, Daejeon, 34520, Republic of Korea.
Department of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon, 34520, Republic of Korea.
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Dunsan Korean Medicine Hospital of Daejeon University, Daejeon, 35235, Republic of Korea.



So-ochim-tang-gamibang (SOCG) is a decoction formula which has been used to improve mental activity in traditional Korean medicine. The present study was performed to evaluate whether the treatment of SOCG was involved in activating hippocampal neurons in mice which were subjected to chronic restraint stress (CRS).


Mice were subjected to CRS for 2 weeks to induce depressive-like behaviors. SOCG was orally administered for the same period. mRNA expression in the hippocampus was analyzed by RT-PCR. Levels of serotonin receptor 5-HT1AR in the hippocampus were determined by western blotting and by immunofluorescence staining in coronal brain sections. Cultured neurons were prepared from the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in mice to examine the effects of CRS and SOCG treatment on neurite outgrowth. Depressive-like behaviors of experimental animals were measured by open field test (OFT) and forced swimming test (FST).


mRNA levels of serotonin 1A and 1B receptors (5-HT1AR and 5-HT1BR) were decreased in the hippocampus of CRS animals and increased by SOCG treatment. Signals of 5-HT1AR protein in CA3 pyramidal cells were decreased by CRS but elevated back to levels in control animals after SOCG treatment. Phospho-Erk1/2 protein in CA3 cells showed similar pattern of changes as in 5-HT1AR, suggesting coordinated regulation after SOCG treatment in CRS animals. Axonal growth-associated protein GAP-43 levels were also decreased by CRS and then increased by SOCG treatment. In vivo administration of SOCG improved neurite outgrowth of primary DRG neurons from CRS animals and also increased 5-HT1AR protein signals. Behavioral tests of open field and forced swimming showed that immobility time periods were significantly decreased by SOCG treatment.


Our data suggest that SOCG treatment may increase synaptic responsiveness to serotonergic neuronal inputs by upregulating 5-HT1AR in the hippocampal neurons.


Chronic restraint stress; Depression; Hippocampus; Serotonin receptor; So-ochim-tang-gamibang

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center