Department of Pharmacy, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences and Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, Chengdu, 610072, Sichuan, China; Personalized Drug Therapy Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 610072, Sichuan, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that affected numerous people. The anti-PTSD-like effects of puerarin is unknown, although the antidepressant- and anxiolytic- like effects of puerarin have been reported. The PTSD behavioral deficits in rats were induced by single prolonged stress (SPS), mainly including the reduced time/entries in the open arms and the elevated time/entries in the closed arms in elevated plus maze test, increased freezing duration in contextual fear paradigm and lowered time/entries in the central zone in open field test. However, the behavioral deficits were attenuated by puerarin (50 and 100 mg/kg) without affecting the locomotor activity. For the evaluation of mechanism, the decreased levels of progesterone, allopregnanolone, and the increased levels of corticosterone, corticotropin releasing hormone, and adrenocorticotropic hormone in the brain or serum were induced by SPS, which is blocked by puerarin. In summary, the anti-PTSD-like effects of puerarin were associated with biosynthesis of neurosteroids and normalized levels of stress hormones in HPA axis.