Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 13

Antistress effects of Kampo medicine "Yokukansan" via regulation of orexin secretion

Authors Katahira H, Sunagawa M, Watanabe D, Kanada Y, Katayama A, Yamauchi R, Takashima M, Ishikawa S, Hisamitsu T

Received 4 December 2016

Accepted for publication 16 January 2017

Published 20 March 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 863—872


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Taro Kishi

Haruto Katahira,1 Masataka Sunagawa,1 Daishi Watanabe,1,2 Yasuaki Kanada,1,3 Ayami Katayama,1 Risa Yamauchi,1 Masashi Takashima,4 Shintaro Ishikawa,1 Tadashi Hisamitsu1

1Department of Physiology, 2Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Showa University, 3Department of Surgery, Showa University Koto Toyosu Hospital, Tokyo, 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan

Objective: Various stressors induce stress responses through the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal and the sympathetic–adrenal–medullary axes, which are regulated, in part, by orexin. For example, secretion of orexin in the hypothalamus is increased in rats exposed to the stress of social isolation for 1 week. In this study, the antistress effects of Kampo medicine Yokukansan (YKS) via the regulation of orexin secretion were investigated using a rat model.
Methods and results: The administration of 300 mg/kg per day of YKS to rats for 1 week significantly decreased the plasma orexin levels compared with non-treated rats, whereas the administration of 1,000 mg/kg of YKS had no effect on orexin levels. Therefore, 300 mg/kg of YKS was an effective dose for controlling orexin secretion. Subsequently, rats were divided into group-housed control (Con), individually housed stress (Stress), and individually housed YKS (300 mg/kg)-treated stress (Stress + YKS) groups. After 1 week, a resident–intruder aggression test was performed, and the plasma levels of orexin and corticosterone were measured. In the Stress group, aggressive behavior and the levels of corticosterone and orexin significantly increased compared with the Con group; however, these effects were inhibited in the Stress + YKS group. Further, an orexin receptor antagonist (TCS 1102; 10 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally administered to rats exposed to isolation stress to determine whether orexin was involved in stress responses. Under these conditions, aggressive behavior and the level of corticosterone significantly decreased compared with the Stress group.
Conclusion: These results suggest that orexin is involved in the control of stress response and that YKS exerts an antistress effect via the regulation of orexin secretion.

Keywords: Yokukansan, orexin, antistress effect, social isolation stress, corticosterone, aggressive behavior

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]