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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 872547, 10 pages
Research Article

Wen-Dan Decoction Improves Negative Emotions in Sleep-Deprived Rats by Regulating Orexin-A and Leptin Expression

1School of Preclinical Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, No. 11 Bei Sanhuan Donglu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
2Traditional Chinese Medical Hospital of Ji’nan, Shandong 250012, China
3School of Chinese Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
4Graduate Institute of Neural and Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University and CMU Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
5Research Institute for Marine Drugs and Nutrition, College of Food Science and Technology, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524088, China

Received 22 November 2013; Revised 12 March 2014; Accepted 15 March 2014; Published 17 April 2014

Academic Editor: Saeed Esmaeili-Mahani

Copyright © 2014 Fengzhi Wu 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.


Wen-Dan Decoction (WDD), a formula of traditional Chinese medicine, has been clinically used for treating insomnia for approximately 800 years. However, the therapeutic mechanisms of WDD remain unclear. Orexin-A plays a key role in the sleep-wake cycle, while leptin function is opposite to orexin-A. Thus, orexin-A and leptin may be important factors in sleep disorders. In this study, 48 rats were divided into control, model, WDD-treated, and diazepam-treated groups. The model of insomnia was produced by sleep deprivation (SD) for 14 days. The expressions of orexin-A, leptin, and their receptors in blood serum, prefrontal cortex, and hypothalamus were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunohistochemistry, and real time PCR. Open field tests showed that SD increased both crossing movement (Cm) and rearing-movement (Rm) times. Orexin-A and leptin levels in blood serum increased after SD but decreased in brain compared to the control group. mRNA expressions of orexin receptor 1 and leptin receptor after SD were decreased in the prefrontal cortex but were increased in hypothalamus. WDD treatment normalized the behavior and upregulated orexin-A, leptin, orexin receptor 1 and leptin receptor in brain. The findings suggest that WDD treatment may regulate SD-induced negative emotions by regulating orexin-A and leptin expression.