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International journal of clinical and experimental medicine

Radix Bupleuri ameliorates depression by increasing nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor.


PMID 26309578

Abstract

Chinese herb Radix Bupleuri has been regarded effective to improve treatment of depression, but the molecular mechanism remains unknown. Low levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increase the likelihood of developing the depression. Therefore, we want to know whether Radix Bupleuri affects the levels of these factors. A total 160 hemodialysis patients were diagnosed with depression and randomly assigned to two groups: Radix Bupleuri group (received 1 g root power of Radix Bupleuri in a capsule daily Radix Bupleuri) and control group (receive placebo). After three-month follow-up, the patients who received Radix Bupleuri had greater improvement in depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms and general functioning via controls after three-month follow-up (P < 0.05). Serum NGF levels were significantly higher in subjects accepted Radix Bupleuris (178.64 ± 52.18 pg/mL) when compared to a control (103.54 ± 31.23 pg/ml) (P < 0.01). Similarly, serum BDNF levels were significantly higher in subjects accepted Radix Bupleuris (1635.26 ± 121.66 pg/ml) when compared to a control (516.38 ± 44.89 pg/ml) (P < 0.01). The serum levels of NGF and BDNF were negatively related with Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and positively related with scores of RAND-36 item Health Survey (RAND-36) (P < 0.01). Thus, Radix Bupleuri ameliorates the patients with depression by increasing serum levels of NGF and BDNF. Radix Bupleuri should be developed a new drug for the therapy of depression.