Objective: To investigate the effects of Valeriana officinalis extract on behaviors, 5-hydroxytryptamine level and cell proliferation at cerebral hippocampus of a depressive rat model induced by chronic mild stress.
Methods: Seventy male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 7 groups (10 per group) including normal control group, untreated depressive rat model group, negative control group , positive control group, low dosage Valeriana officinalis extract group,medium dosage Valeriana officinalis extract group and high dosage Valeriana officinalis extract group. All groups were examined by weight, tap water intake and 1% sucrose intake once a week.The rats were killed after week 7. The hippocampal tissues of brain for half of the groups were removed for detection of 5-hydroxytryptamine level. In the other half, the neural cells in hippocampus were detected by bromodeoxyuridine labelling and neutral red staining.
Results: low dosage Valeriana officinalis extract could make behaviors of depressive rats,the 5-hydroxytryptamine level and cell proliferation at hippocampus of these rats recovered to normal status.
Conclusion: Valeriana officinalis extract has high potential to be developed to be an effective antidepressant.