Vanillin-induced amelioration of depression-like behaviors in rats by modulating monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain.

Psychiatry research

PubMedID: 25595338

Xu J, Xu H, Liu Y, He H, Li G. Vanillin-induced amelioration of depression-like behaviors in rats by modulating monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain. Psychiatry Res. 2014;.
Olfaction plays an important role in emotions in our daily life. Pleasant odors are known to evoke positive emotions, inducing relaxation and calmness. The beneficial effects of vanillin on depressive model rats were investigated using a combination of behavioral assessments and neurotransmitter measurements. Before and after chronic stress condition (or olfactory bulbectomy), and at the end of vanillin or fluoxetine treatment, body weight, immobility time on the forced swimming test and sucrose consumption in the sucrose consumption test were measured. Changes in these assessments revealed the characteristic phenotypes of depression in rats. Neurotransmitters were measured using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography. Our results indicated that vanillin could alleviate depressive symptoms in the rat model of chronic depression via the olfactory pathway. Preliminary analysis of the monoamine neurotransmitters revealed that vanillin elevated both serotonin and dopamine levels in brain tissue. These results provide important mechanistic insights into the protective effect of vanillin against chronic depressive disorder via olfactory pathway. This suggests that vanillin may be a potential pharmacological agent for the treatment of major depressive disorder.