This study provides new insight into the antidepressant effects of silibinin. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Protective effects of silibinin and its possible mechanism of action in mice exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress.
Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2015 May ;23(3):245-50. Epub 2015 May 1. PMID: 25995823
Silibinin, a natural flavonoid antioxidant isolated from extracts of the milk thistle herb, has recently been identified as having anti-hepatotoxic and anticancer properties. In this paper, we investigated the effects of silibinin on behavior and neuroplasticity in mice subjected to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). After 5 consecutive weeks of CUMS, the mice were treated with silibinin (100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg by oral gavage) for 3 consecutive weeks. The results showed that silibinin administration significantly alleviated the CUMS-induced depressive-like behavior, including the total number of squares crossed and the frequency of rearing in the open field test, the immobility time in the tail suspension test and the forced swimming test. Furthermore, silibinin treatment increased the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE) in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Our study provides new insight into the protective effects of silibinin on the depressive status of CUMS mice, specifically by improving neuroplasticity and neurotransmission.