Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 1113–1122 | Cite as

Geniposide alleviates depression-like behavior via enhancing BDNF expression in hippocampus of streptozotocin-evoked mice

  • Junming WangEmail author
  • Peili Duan
  • Ying Cui
  • Qing Li
  • Yanran Shi
Original Article


Clinical and preclinical data suggest that diabetes is often psychological complications such as depression. Geniposide (GP), a major compound in Gardenia jasminoides Ellis with both medicinal and nutritional values, has been previously confirmed to exert anti-diabetic and anti-depressive activities. The present study attempted to observe anti-depressive mechanisms of GP in streptozotocin (STZ) evoked diabetic mice by involving brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), for the first time. Mice were given GP daily (50, and 100 mg/kg, ig) or reference drugs FHMH [fluoxetine hydrochloride (FH, 10 mg/kg, ig) combined with metformin hydrochloride (MH, 100 mg/kg, ig)] for 3 weeks. The forced swimming test (FST) was performed to observe depression-like behavior, and serum and brain tissues were used for neurochemical and fluorescent quantitative reverse transcription PCR analyses. STZ induced excessively increased blood sugar and immobility time in FST, in a manner attenuated by GP and FHMH administration. GP administration further elevated BDNF levels, and up-regulated the mRNA expression of BDNF and tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in hippocampus of diabetic mice. In addition, STZ induced the excessive level of serum corticosterone (CORT), while GP did not influence on it in diabetic mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that GP can alleviate depression-like behavior in STZ-evoked diabetic mice, and suggest its mechanisms may partially be ascribed to up-regulating BDNF expression in brain.


Antidepressant Geniposide Brain-derived neurotrophic factor Diabetic complications Forced swimming test 



This work was financially supported by Funding Scheme for Young Key Teachers of Colleges and Universities in Henan Province (2014GGJS-072), Zhengzhou Scientific and Technological Attack Project (20150309), Provincial Fundamental Research Fund in Henan University of Chinese Medicine (2014KYYWF-QN01), and Program for Science & Technology Innovation Talents in Universities of Henan Province (16HASTIT032).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junming Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Peili Duan
    • 2
  • Ying Cui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qing Li
    • 2
  • Yanran Shi
    • 2
  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center for Respiratory Disease Diagnosis and Treatment & Chinese Medicine Development of Henan ProvinceHenan University of Traditional Chinese MedicineZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.College of PharmacyHenan University of Traditional Chinese MedicineZhengzhouChina

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