Research Papers:

Ghrelin produces antidepressant-like effect in the estrogen deficient mice

Jie Fan, Bing Jin Li, Xue Feng Wang, Li Li Zhong and Ran Ji Cui _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:58964-58973. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19768

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Jie Fan1, Bing Jin Li1, Xue Feng Wang1, Li Li Zhong1 and Ran Ji Cui1

1Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory on Molecular and Chemical Genetics, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130041, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Ran Ji Cui, email: [email protected]

Bing Jin Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: ghrelin, depression, antidepressant, estrogen, ovariectomize

Received: February 08, 2017     Accepted: July 11, 2017     Published: August 01, 2017


Recent evidence shows that ghrelin plays an important role in depression. However, it was little known whether ghrelin produces antidepressant-like effect in the ovariectomized mice. The present study was aimed to investigate the antidepressant-like effects of the ghrelin in ovariectomized mice. In the forced swim test, ghrelin significantly decreased immobility time, reversing the “depressive-like” effect observed in ovariectomized mice, and this effect was reversed by the tamoxifen. In addition, immunohistochemical study indicated that ghrelin treatment reversed the reductions in c-Fos expression induced by ovariectomy. An estrogen antagonist tamoxifen also antagonized the effect of ghrelin on the c-Fos expression. Furthermore, the western blotting indicated that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus, but not phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB)/CREB in the frontal cortex, were affected by ghrelin treatment. Ghrelin treatment significantly increased BrdU expression. Therefore, these findings suggest that ghrelin produces antidepressant-like effects in ovariectomized mice, and estrogen receptor may be involved in the antidepressant-like effects of the ghrelin.

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PII: 19768