Antidepressant-like effects of a chlorogenic acid- and cynarine-enriched fraction from Dittrichia viscosa root extract

Kateryna Murlanova, Netanela Cohen, Anna Pinkus, Liudmila Vinnikova, Mikhail Pletnikov, Michael Kirby, Jonathan Gorelick, Elyashiv Drori, Albert Pinhasov

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Dittrichia viscosa is a perennial Mediterranean plant used in traditional medicine for “calming purposes”, pointing at a possible antidepressant activity of the plant. We conducted chromatographic and bioassay-guided fractionation of D. viscosa root extract to isolate a specific fraction (fraction “K”) with antidepressant-like characteristics in vivo and strong antioxidant properties in vitro. A single dose of “K” reduced immobility time in the forced swim test with a mouse model possessing a depressive-like phenotype. Neurochemical profiling for 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and its primary metabolite, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of “K”-treated mice showed reduction in 5-HIAA, indicative of either serotonin uptake transporter or monoamine oxidase-A inhibition, as well as slight increases in 5-HT content. These neurochemical alterations, as well as the behavioral changes observed, were comparable to the effects of paroxetine. “K” also protected PC12 cells in a H2O2 cytotoxicity assay, thus demonstrating antioxidant properties, yet paroxetine augmented oxidative damage and cell death. Identification of the main compounds in “K” by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–MS/MS) indicated that chlorogenic acid and cynarine comprised 87% of the total components. D. viscosa root extract appears to produce antidepressant and cytoprotective effects and may serve as an attractive alternative to standard therapies for depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3647
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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