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Metabolite-related antidepressant action of diterpene ginkgolides in the prefrontal cortex

Authors Hu Q, Shen P, Bai S, Dong M, Liang Z, Chen Z, Wang W, Wang H, Gui S, Li P, Xie P

Received 3 January 2018

Accepted for publication 23 February 2018

Published 13 April 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 999—1011

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S161351

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang


Qingchuan Hu,1–3,* Peng Shen,1,2,4,* Shunjie Bai,1–3,* Meixue Dong,1,2,4,* Zihong Liang,1,2,4,5 Zhi Chen,1,2,6 Wei Wang,1,2,6 Haiyang Wang,1,2 Siwen Gui,1,2 Pengfei Li,1,2 Peng Xie1–4,6

1Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, 2Institute of Neuroscience and the Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, 3Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medical Diagnostics of Education, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chongqing Medical University, 4Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 5Department of Neurology, The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region People’s Hospital, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, 6Department of Neurology, Yongchuan Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) contains diterpene ginkgolides (DGs), which have been shown to have neuroprotective effects by a number of previous studies. We previously demonstrated part of the action of DG. However, the impact of DG on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) remains unclear. Here, we evaluated the effects of DG and venlafaxine (for comparison) on behavioral and metabolite changes in the PFC using mice models and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry-based metabolomics.
Materials and methods: Mice were randomly divided into control (saline), DG (12.18 mg/kg) and venlafaxine (16 mg/kg) groups. After 2 weeks of treatment, depression and anxiety-related behavioral tests were performed. Metabolic profiles of the PFC were detected by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry.
Results: The DG group exhibited positive effects in the sucrose preference test. The differential metabolites were mainly related to amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism and lipid metabolism. The results indicated that the DG group exhibited perturbed lipid metabolism, molecular transport and small-molecule biochemistry in the PFC. Compared with the control group, pathway analysis indicated that venlafaxine and DG had similar effects on alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism.
Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that DG has antidepressant-like, but not anxiolytic-like, effects in mice, suggesting that it might have therapeutic potential for the treatment of major depressive disorder.

Keywords: diterpene ginkgolides, antidepressant, metabolomics, prefrontal cortex, depressive disorder

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