Natural products have been widely reported as effective therapeutic alternatives for treatment of depression. Sanyuansan is a compound recipe composed of ginseng total saponins, fish oil, and valeriana. The aims of this study were to validate whether Sanyuansan has antidepressant-like effects through acute behavioral tests including the forced swimming test (FST), tail suspension test (TST), locomotor activity test, and chronic mild stress (CMS) mice model of depression. C57BL/6 mice were given oral administration of 30 mg/kg imipramine, Sanyuansan, and saline, respectively. The acute behavioral tests including the TST, FST, and locomotor activity test were done after the administration of drugs for consecutively three times (24 hours, 1 hour, and 0.5 hour prior to the tests). Furthermore, the sucrose preference and the serum corticosterone level of mice in the CMS model were examined. Sanyuansan only at 900 mg/kg markedly reduced immobility time in the TST compared with the saline-treated group of mice. Sanyuansan at doses of 225 mg/kg, 450 mg/kg, and 900 mg/kg significantly reduced immobility time of mice in the FST. Sanyuansan reversed the CMS-induced anhedonia and hyperactivation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. In addition, our results showed that neither imipramine nor Sanyuansan at any dosage increased spontaneous motor activity. These results suggested that Sanyuansan induced significant antidepressant-like effects in mice in both acute and chronic animal models, which seemed unlikely to be attributed to an increase in locomotor activities of mice, and had no sedative-like effects.
Yan, S., You, Z. L., Zhao, Q. Y., Peng, C., He, G., Gou, X. J., & Lin, B. (2015). Antidepressant-like effects of Sanyuansan in the mouse forced swim test, tail suspension test, and chronic mild stress model. Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 31(12), 605–612. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.kjms.2015.10.009