Study of the role of CREB, BDNF, and VGF neuropeptide in long term antidepressant activity of crocin in the rat cerebellum

Document Type: Research article

Authors

1 argeted Drug Delivery Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Pharmacodynamy and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.Department of Pharmacodynamy and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Antidepressant activity of crocin, saffron main component, has been established before. Based on previous study, it is suggested that elevation in the levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), CREB (cAMP response element binding) and VGF neuropeptide could be considered as one probable molecular mechanisms involved in antidepressant activity of long term crocin administration in the rat hippocampus. In this study we further investigated whether the antidepressant activity of crocin in long term administration was associated with alteration in these factors in the rat cerebellum.
Crocin (12.5, 25 and 50 mg/kg/day) and imipramine (10 mg/kg/day) were administered interaperitoneally for 21 days to rats. At the end of experiment, animals were sacrificed and cerebellums were dissected. BDNF, VGF, CREB and phospho-CREB (P-CREB) protein and mRNA levels in the rat cerebellum were evaluated using Western blot and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
In the current study significant increases in mRNA and protein levels of VGF, CREB and BDNF in long term crocin treatment were not observed in the rat cerebellum. Although a slight increase was observed in protein level of P-CREB compared to normal saline, but it was not significant.
It is concluded that antidepressant activity of crocin might be partially mediated to CREB. Moreover other factors rather than BDNF and VGF neuropeptides may alter following long term crocin treatment in the cerebellum. To understand the precise mechanism of crocin antidepressant effects in the cerebellum, longer duration of crocin treatment in further studies is recommended.

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