Enhancement of BDNF concentration and restoration of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis accompany reduced depressive-like behaviour in stressed ovariectomised rats treated with either tualang honey or estrogen
ScientificWorldJournal, 2014 Jan 16;2014:310821
A possible interaction between glucocorticoids and estrogen-induced increases in brain-derived-neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in enhancing depressive-like behaviour has been documented.
Here we evaluated the effects of Tualang honey, a phytoestrogen, and 17 β -estradiol (E2) on the depressive-like behaviour, stress hormones, and BDNF concentration in stressed ovariectomised (OVX) rats. The animals were divided into six groups: (i) nonstressed sham-operated control, (ii) stressed sham-operated control, (iii) nonstressed OVX, (iv) stressed OVX, (v) stressed OVX treated with E2 (20 μ g daily, sc), and (vi) stressed OVX treated with Tualang honey (0.2 g/kg body weight daily, orally). Two months after surgery, the animals were subjected to social instability stress procedure followed by forced swimming test. Struggling time, immobility time, and swimming time were scored. Serum adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone levels, and the BDNF concentration were determined using commercially available ELISA kits. Stressed OVX rats displayed increased depressive-like behaviour with significantly increased serum ACTH and corticosterone levels, while the BDNF concentration was significantly decreased compared to other experimental groups. These changes were notably reversed by both E2 and Tualang honey.
In conclusion, both Tualang honey and E2 mediate antidepressive-like effects in stressed OVX rats, possibly acting via restoration of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and enhancement of the BDNF concentration.