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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Nov 18;2018:3967642. doi: 10.1155/2018/3967642. eCollection 2018.

Xiaoyao Kangai Jieyu Fang, a Chinese Herbal Formulation, Ameliorates Cancer-Related Depression Concurrent with Breast Cancer in Mice via Promoting Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity.

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Institute of Innovation and Applied Research in Chinese Medicine, Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha, Hunan 410208, China.
The First Affiliated Hospital, Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha, Hunan 410007, China.
The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410006, China.


Diagnosis with breast cancer is a major life event that elicits increases in depressive symptoms for up to 50% of women. Xiaoyao Kangai Jieyu Fang (XYKAJY) is derived from a canonical TCM formula, Xiaoyao San (XYS), which has a history of nearly 1000 years for treating depression. The aim of this study was to investigate whether XYKAJY alleviates depression-like behavior and breast tumor proliferation in breast cancer mice then explore the mechanisms underlying its action on HPA axis and hippocampal plasticity further. XYKAJY was treated at the high dose of 1.95 g/mL and 0.488 g/mL, after 21 days of administration. Different behaviors, monoamine neurotransmitters, tumor markers, and the index of HPA axis were detected to evaluate depressive-like symptoms of breast cancer mice. Also, the pathological changes of the tumor, hippocampus, and the expressions of GR, NR2A, NR2B, CAMKII, CREB, and BDNF were detected. In this study, XYKAJY formulation significantly improved the autonomic behavior, reduced the incubation period of feeding, and reversed the typical depressive-like symptoms in breast cancer mice. Also, it reduced the content of CORT, ACTH, CRH, and CA125, CA153, CEA in the blood, protected the pathological changes of the hippocampus and tumor, upregulated the expression of GR, CREB, and BDNF in the hippocampus, and significantly decreased the expression of NR2A, NR2B, and CaMKII. These results provide direct evidence that XYKAJY effectively alleviates depression-like behaviors and tumor proliferation in vehicle mice with ameliorates hippocampus synaptic plasticity dysfunctions.

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