Antidepressant-like Effects of p-Coumaric Acid on LPS-induced Depressive and Inflammatory Changes in Rats.
Exp Neurobiol. 2018 Jun ;27(3):189-199. Epub 2018 Jun 30. PMID: 30022870
Depression causes mental and physical changes which affect quality of life. It is estimated to become the second most prevalent disease, but despite its commonness, the pathophysiology of depression remains unclear and medicine is not sufficiently protective. p-Coumaric acid (p-CA) is a dietary phenolic acid which has been proven to have antifungal, anti-HIV, anti-melanogenic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Considering these effects, we investigated whether p-CA can prevent depressive symptoms by reducing inflammatory cytokines in animals injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Changes in despair-related behaviors, inflammatory cytokines, neurotrophic factors and synaptic activity were measured. In these animals, p-CA improved despair-related behavioral symptoms induced by LPS in the forced swim test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and sucrose splash test (SST). p-CA also prevented the increase of inflammatory cytokines in the hippocampus such as cycloxigenase-2 and tumor necrosis factor-α due to LPS. Similarly, it prevented the reduction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) by LPS. Electrophysiologically, p-CA blocked the reduction of long-term depression in LPS-treated organotypic tissue slices. In conclusion, p-CA prevented LPS-induced depressive symptoms in animals, as determined by behavioral, biochemical and electrophysiological measures. These findings suggest the potential use of p-CA as a preventive and therapeutic medicine for depression.