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Evaluation of the Antidepressant Effect of the Functional Beverage Containing Active Peptides, Menthol and Eleutheroside, and Investigation of Its Mechanism of Action in Mice

Yuanjin Qi1orcid tiny, Huizhen Zhang1orcid tiny, Sha Liang1orcid tiny, Jiajia Chen2orcid tiny, Xiaoni Yan1orcid tiny, Zhouyu Duan1orcid tiny, Deyang Zhou1orcid tiny and Zhicheng Li1*orcid tiny

1College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, 22 Xinong Road, 712100 Yangling, PR China

2Department of Food Science, University of Tennessee, 2510 River Dr, TN 37996 Knoxville, USA

Article history:

Received: 11 November 2019

Accepted: 2 September 2020

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Key words:

functional beverage, eleutheroside, behavioral testing, antidepressant mechanism, monoamine, antioxidation


Research background. Depression has become a global threat to human health. In order to solve it, researchers have conducted multi-faceted studies including diet. Many food-derived bioactive substances have shown antidepressant effects. However, there are few studies on the design of industrialized food with antidepressant effect. This study aims to evaluate the antidepressant effect of afunctional beverage made from several ingredients with potential antidepressant function and investigate its antidepressant mechanisms.

Experimental approachThe beverage consists of peppermint oil, active peptides derived from bovine milk casein and Acanthopanax senticosus extract (ASE) whose active ingredient is eleutheroside. Different amounts of ASE were evaluated to determine the optimal concentration of eleutheroside in this functional beverage to deliver the best antidepressant effect through extensive behavioral testing, including preliminary acute stress experiments and further chronic unpredictable mild stress test.

Results and conclusions. The results demonstrated that the beverage with 15 mg/kg of eleutheroside could significantly reduce the mice’s immobility time of tail suspension test and forced swimming test, recover mice’s sucrose preference and behavior changes in the open field test, improve the contents of dopamine, norepinephrine, 5-hydroxytryptamine and the activity of superoxide dismutase and reduce the content of malondialdehyde in mice’s brains, which indicated that the improvement of monoamine neurotransmitter systems and antioxidation was one potential mechanism of antidepressant action.

Novelty and scientific contribution. This study provides a design of antidepressant functional beverage and an efficient way for the prevention and treatment of depression.

*Corresponding author: +862987092486 

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