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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 359682, 11 pages
Research Article

Nobiletin Ameliorates the Deficits in Hippocampal BDNF, TrkB, and Synapsin I Induced by Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress

1Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering, College of Chemical Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, Fujian 361021, China
2Department of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, College of Chemical Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, Fujian 361021, China

Received 3 November 2012; Revised 14 February 2013; Accepted 14 February 2013

Academic Editor: David Mischoulon

Copyright © 2013 Jing Li 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.


Background. Our previous study has demonstrated that nobiletin could reverse the behavioral alterations in stressed mice. However, the relation of its antidepressant-like action with neurotrophic molecular expression remains unknown. This study aimed to explore the antidepressant-like mechanism of nobiletin related to the neurotrophic system in rats exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). Methods. Depressive-like anhedonia (assessed by sucrose preference) and serum corticosterone secretion were evaluated in the CUMS, followed by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), its tropomyosin-related kinase receptor B (TrkB), and the downstream target synapsin I expressions in the hippocampus. Results. Anhedonia, which occurred within week 2, was rapidly ameliorated by nobiletin. While fluoxetine needed additional 2 weeks to improve the anhedonia. In addition, nobiletin administration for 5 weeks significantly ameliorated CUMS-induced increase in serum corticosterone levels. Furthermore, we also found that CUMS-induced deficits of hippocampal BDNF, TrkB, and synapsin I were ameliorated by nobiletin. Conclusions. Taken together, these findings suggest that nobiletin produces rapidly acting antidepressant-like responses in the CUMS and imply that BDNF-TrkB pathway may play an important role in the antidepressant-like effect of nobiletin.