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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 512697, 5 pages
Original Article

Antidepressant-like Effect of l-perillaldehyde in Stress-induced Depression-like Model Mice through Regulation of the Olfactory Nervous System

1Oriental Medicine Research Center, The Kitasato Institute, Japan
2Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences and Graduate School of Infection Control Sciences, Kitasato University, Tokyo, Japan

Received 13 September 2007; Accepted 30 May 2008

Copyright © 2011 N. Ito et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Perillae Herba (a leaf of Perilla frutescens) has been prescribed as one of the component herbs in certain Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicines that are used clinically for the improvement of depressive mood. l-Perillaldehyde (PAH) is a major component in the essential oil containing in Perillae Herba, but its antidepressant-like effect has not been reported. To clarify the antidepressant-like effect of PAH, the inhaled effect of PAH on stress-induced depression-like model mice prepared by subjection to a combination of forced swimming and chronic mild stresses was investigated. The degree of the depression-like state was measured by the animal's duration of immobility using a forced swimming test. Inhalation of PAH (0.0965 and 0.965 mg/mouse/day, 9 days) significantly shortened the duration of immobility of the depression-like model mice and did not affect locomotor activity. However, another odor substance, cinnamaldehyde containing in Cinnamomi Cortex, exhibited no reduction in the immobility. The reduction in the immobility induced by the inhalation of PAH was prevented on anosmia-induced mice prepared by intranasal irrigation with zinc sulfate. These results suggest that the inhalation of PAH shows antidepressant-like activity through the olfactory nervous function.