Natural alkaloids from lotus plumule ameliorate lipopolysaccharide-induced depression-like behavior: integrating network pharmacology and molecular mechanism evaluation
Depression is a mental disorder that brings severe burdens to patients and their families. Neuroinflammation and neurotrophins are involved in depression. Lotus plumule is a nutritional food with medicinal values. In the present study, we tried to clarify the anti-depressive effect and molecular mechanism of lotus plumule. Network pharmacological analysis, behavior tests, qRT-PCR and western blotting were used. We found 7 potential active components and 91 targets from the TCMSP database. KEGG analysis suggested that lotus plumule significantly affected nitrogen metabolism, calcium signaling, and inflammatory mediator regulation signaling pathways. Consistent with those effects, total alkaloids of lotus plumule (TLA) and active alkaloids differently suppressed the nitric oxide (NO) production and pro-inflammatory mediators. TLA and higenamine significantly ameliorated LPS-induced depression-like behavior, increased BDNF levels, suppressed microglia activation, and inhibited the expression of ER stress-related proteins. Meanwhile, TLA and higenamine activated microglia autophagy by increasing the beclin-1 and LC3B-II expression. Additionally, in the presence of autophagy inhibitor 3-MA, TLA and higenamine did not reduce the LPS-induced NO production or pro-inflammatory mediators. Collectively, TLA and higenamine attenuated LPS-induced depression-like behavior by regulating BDNF-mediated ER stress and autophagy. Therefore, drinking tea of lotus plumule may provide a potential strategy for preventing depression.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Food & Function Recent HOT articles