Garlic essential oil mediates acute and chronic mild stress-induced depression in rats via modulation of monoaminergic neurotransmission and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels†
Garlic essential oil (GEO) and its major organosulfur component (diallyl disulfide, DADS) possess diverse biological properties; however, limited information on their antidepressant-like effects is available. This study is the first to investigate these effects of GEO using the forced swimming test (FST) and unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) induced depression in rats. After oral administration for 28 consecutive days, GEO (25 and 50 mg per kg bw) significantly reduced the immobility time in the FST. Additionally, GEO and DADS significantly reversed the sucrose preference index decrease induced by 5 weeks of UCMS. GEO (25 mg per kg bw) effectively decreased the frontal cortex turnover ratio of serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA), thus increasing the 5-HT and DA levels, with no hippocampal effects. Chronic GEO treatment increased hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), c-AMP response element binding protein (CREB), and protein kinase B (AKT) expression, exhibiting its effects via monoamine neurotransmitter modulation and the BDNF-related signaling pathway.