Xiao Yao Wan has been widely applied in China to treat stress-related illnesses, such as migraine, depression, Parkinson’s disease, insomnia, hypertension. In this study aims to explore the effect of Xiao Yao Wan on chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depression and its underlying mechanisms.
Chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depression rat models were established, they were subsequently randomly divided and treated with various conditions. Results of this study indicated that supplementation of Xiao Yao Wan observably abolished chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced hippocampal damage and serum corticosterone (CORT) elevation.
In mechanism, we discovered that chronic unpredictable mild stress induction could cause a prominent downregulation in glucocorticoid receptor (GR), phosphorylated-GR (p-GR), connexin 43 (Cx43), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a remarkable upregulation in c-Src. While the introduction of XYP could reverse the changes in all of these indicators mediated by chronic unpredictable mild stress. Furthermore, we proved that Cx43 could interact with GR, and the protective effect of XYP on hippocampal neurons is realized by up-regulating GR.
Summarized, this study indicated that Xiao Yao Wan could ameliorate hippocampal neuron damage in chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depression model rats through acting on Cx43/GR/BDNF axis.