Researchers at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine evaluated the effects of xiao yao san (XYS) on anxiety-like behaviors and the mechanisms underlying its activity. They reported their findings in an article published in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin.
The researchers wanted to explore whether the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway, which is involved in regulating many key cellular processes, is also involved in XYS’ effects.
They divided 40 rats into 5 groups:
The control group, which received deionized water
The model group, which also received deionized water
The SP600125 group, which underwent surgery
The per se group, which also underwent surgery
The XYS group, which received 3.9 g/kg XYS daily
They injected a 1 percent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) citrate buffer solution and SP600125 separately and bilaterally into the rats (via the brain’s ventricular system) in the two surgery groups.
They then subjected all the groups except for the control to 14 days of chronic immobilization stress (CIS).
On day 15, the researchers measured the body weight of the rats and subjected the animals to the elevated plus maze (EPM) and novelty suppressed feeding (NSF) tests.
They then examined JNK signaling pathway indices, including phosphorylated JNK (P-JNK), JNK, phosphorylated c-Jun (P-c-Jun) and cytochrome C (Cyt-C).
Based on the body weight and behavioral analyses of the model rats, the researchers confirmed the successful induction of anxiety-like behaviors in the animals.
They reported that P-JNK, JNK and P-c-Jun expression was altered in the hippocampus of the model rats.
Treatment with XYS and SP600125 for 14 days changed rat body weight and behaviors, along with P-JNK, JNK and P-c-Jun expression levels, for the better.
Zhao HB, Jiang YM, Li XJ, Liu YY, Bai XH, Li N, Chen JX, Liu Q, Yan ZY, Zhao FZ. XIAO YAO SAN IMPROVES THE ANXIETY-LIKE BEHAVIORS OF RATS INDUCED BY CHRONIC IMMOBILIZATION STRESS: THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE JNK SIGNALING PATHWAY IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 01 February 2017;40(2):187–194. DOI: 10.1248/bpb.b16-00694