Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 1175–1185 | Cite as

Anxiolytic-like effects of paeoniflorin in an animal model of post traumatic stress disorder

  • Zhi-Kun Qiu
  • Jia-Li He
  • Xu Liu
  • Jia Zeng
  • Wei Xiao
  • Qing-Hong Fan
  • Xiao-Meng Chai
  • Wei-Hai YeEmail author
  • Ji-Sheng ChenEmail author
Original Article


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the serious psychiatric disorder. Paeoniflorin (PF) produces the antidepressant-like properties. However, few studies are concerned about its anti-PTSD-like effects and mechanisms. To investigate these, the single prolonged stress (SPS) model was utilized. PTSD-like behavioral deficits in rats after exposure to SPS were improved by PF (10 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.), evidenced by blocking increased freezing time in contextual fear paradigm (CFP) and increased time and entries in open arms in elevated plus maze (EPM) test without affecting the locomotor activity in open field (OF) test. We also found that increased levels of corticosterone (Cort), corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) after exposure to SPS were reversed by PF (10 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.) in serum, respectively. Moreover, the decreased levels of serotonin (5-HT) and 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were reversed by PF (10 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.), respectively. In summary, the anti-PTSD-like activities of PF were associated with the modulation of HPA axis and 5-HT system activation.


HPA axis Monoamines PF PTSD 



This study was supported by a grant from Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China (No. 2017A030313448), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81703731) and Project of Educational Commission of Guangdong Province, China (No. 2016KQNCX086).

Author Contribution

Wei Xiao, Qing-Hong Fan, Xiao-Meng Chai and Wei-hai Ye have participated in the revised manuscript and the proof. They had contributed to the revision. Thus, we invited them in the publication.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi-Kun Qiu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jia-Li He
    • 3
  • Xu Liu
    • 4
  • Jia Zeng
    • 1
  • Wei Xiao
    • 2
  • Qing-Hong Fan
    • 2
  • Xiao-Meng Chai
    • 2
  • Wei-Hai Ye
    • 5
    Email author
  • Ji-Sheng Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Pharmaceutical Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Pharmaceutical UniversityClinical Pharmacy Department of Guangdong Pharmaceutical UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Pharmacodynamic Constituents of TCM and New Drugs Research, College of PharmacyJinan UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of EndocrinologyGuangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Pharmacy DepartmentGeneral Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police ForcesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.The Affiliated Chencun Hospital of Shunde HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityFoshanPeople’s Republic of China

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