Bufo viridis secretions improve anxiety and depression-like behavior following intracerebroventricular injection of amyloid β

Shima Shirzad , Ali Neamati , Farzaneh Vafaee, Hamed Ghazavi


Background and purpose: Venenum Bufonis is a Chinese traditional medicine produced from the glandular secretions of toads that contain biogenic amines, which have anti-inflammatory properties. The present study aimed to examine the effect of Bufo viridis secretions (BVS) on anxiety and depression-like behavior and hippocampal senile plaques volume in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Experimental approach: Thirty-eight male Wistar rats were used. AD was induced by amyloid-beta (Aβ1-42)(10 µg/2 µL, intracerebroventricular injection, icv) and then BVS at 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg were injected intraperitoneally (ip) in six equal intervals over 21 days. Anxiety and depression-like behavior were assessed using behavioral tests including open field test (OFT), elevated plus maze (EPM), and forced swimming test (FST) 21 days after the surgery.  The volume of senile plaques was assessed based on the Cavalieri principle.

Findings/Results: Results of the OFT showed that the central crossing number and the time in the AD group were significantly decreased compared to the sham group (P ˂ 0.01 and P ˂ 0.001, respectively). Also, the values of these two parameters significantly increased in the AD + BVS80 group than the AD group (P ˂ 0.05 and P ˂ 0.001, respectively). The time spent in the closed arm in the EPM dramatically increased in the AD group compared to the sham group (P ˂ 0.05) and significantly decreased in the AD + BVS80 group compared to the AD group (P ˂ 0.05). Results of the FST indicated that immobility time had a reduction in the AD + BVS20 (P ˂ 0.01), AD + BVS40, and AD + BVS80 groups compared to the AD group (P < 0.001). The volume of senile plaques in the hippocampus showed a reduction in the treatment groups in comparison with the AD group (P < 0.001 for all).

Conclusion and implications: Results revealed that BVS injection could improve symptoms of anxiety and depression and decrease senile plaques in the hippocampus in an animal model of AD.




Keywords: Amyloid-β1-42; Bufo viridis secretion; Depression; Elevated plus-maze; Forced swimming test; Open field test.

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