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Patchouli alcohol (PA), a tricyclic sesquiterpene, is the major chemical component of patchouli oil. This study investigated the antidepressant-like effect and mechanism of PA in chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). Our results showed that PA markedly attenuated CUMS-induced depressant-like behaviors, including an effective increase of sucrose preference and spontaneous exploratory capacity, as well as reduction of immobility time. In addition, PA markedly attenuated CUMS-induced mTOR, p70S6K, and 4E-BP-1 phosphorylation reduction in the hippocampus. Furthermore, PA reversed CUMS-induced increases in LC3-II and p62 levels and CUMS-induced decrease in PSD-95 and SYN-I levels. These results indicated that the antidepressant-like effect of PA was correlated with the activation of the mTOR signaling pathway. Moreover, behavioral experimental results showed that the antidepressant-like effect of PA was blocked by rapamycin (autophagy inducer and mTOR inhibitor) and chloroquine (autophagic flux inhibitor). These results suggest that PA exerted antidepressant-like effect in CUMS rats through inhibiting autophagy, repairing synapse, and restoring autophagic flux in the hippocampus by activating the mTOR signaling pathway. The results render PA a promising antidepressant agent worthy of further development into a pharmaceutical drug for the treatment of depression. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.. All rights reserved.


Jianyi Zhuo, Baoyi Chen, Chaoyue Sun, Tao Jiang, Zhiwei Chen, Yanlu Liu, Juan Nie, Hongmei Yang, Jingna Zheng, Xiaoping Lai, Ziren Su, Chuwen Li, Yucui Li. Patchouli alcohol protects against chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depressant-like behavior through inhibiting excessive autophagy via activation of mTOR signaling pathway. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie. 2020 Jul;127:110115

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PMID: 32244196

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