Antidepressant and Neuroprotective Effects of Naringenin via Sonic Hedgehog-GLI1 Cell Signaling Pathway in a Rat Model of Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress.
Neuromolecular Med. 2019 Apr 29. Epub 2019 Apr 29. PMID: 31037465
Depression is one of the most prevalent and crucial public health problem connected to significant mortality and co-morbidity. Recently, numerous studies suggested that dietary flavanones exhibit neuroprotective and antidepressant effects against various psycho-physiological conditions including depression. The present study is focused on the antidepressant and neuroprotective effects of naringenin (NAR) and the involvement of sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling in the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS)-induced depression. Twenty-four male Wistar rats were randomly assigned into four groups: CON group (saline s.c.), NAR group (NAR 50 mg/kg, p.o.), CUMS group (subjected to CUMS along with saline p.o.), and CUMS + NAR group (NAR 50 mg/kg p.o. along with CUMS) for 28 days including 1-week pre-treatment with NAR. The results showed that NAR was found to inhibit behavioral abnormalities including increased despair in force swim test, and reduced locomotor activity caused by CUMS in open field test. Moreover, Morris water maze revealed that NAR also mitigates CUMS-associated cognitive impairment. In addition to the antidepressant-like effect, NAR mitigates morphological anomalies in the hippocampal CA1 region and cortex.Furthermore, we observed brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Shh, GLI1, NKX2.2, and PAX6 were downregulated in the hippocampus of CUMS-exposed rats, which can be upregulated by NAR pre-treatment. GLI1 is main downstream signaling component of Shh signaling cascade, which further regulates theexpression of homeodomain transcription factors PAX6 and NKX2.2.