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The antidepressant effects and serum metabonomics of bifid triple viable capsule in a rat model of chronic unpredictable mild stress.

BACKGROUND: Probiotics have shown potential antidepressant effects. This study evaluated the effect and probable mechanisms of bifid triple viable capsules (BTVCs) on a rat model of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rats were randomly divided into Normal, CUMS model, fluoxetine hydrochloride (FLX), BTVCs, and FLX+BTVCs groups. Depressive-like behaviours, pathological changes in the hippocampus, changes in serum metabolites and potential biomarkers, and metabolic pathways were detected via behavioural tests, haematoxylin-eosin staining, nissl staining, non-targetted metabolomics, and ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA).

RESULTS: The rats displayed depressive-like behaviours after CUMS exposure, but BTVCs ameliorated the depressive-like behaviours. In addition, the pathological results showed that the hippocampal tissue was damaged in rats after CUMS exposure and that the damage was effectively alleviated by treatment with BTVCs. A total of 20 potential biomarkers were identified. Treatment with BTVCs regulated D-phenylalanine, methoxyeugenol, (±)-myristoylcarnitine, 18:3 (6Z, 9Z, 12Z) /P-18:1 (11Z), propionyl-L-carnitine, and arachidonic acid (AA) concentrations, all compounds that are involved with biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids, glycerophospholipid metabolism, linoleic acid metabolism and AA metabolism. The IPA demonstrated that endothelin-1 signalling and cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element binding protein (CREB) signalling in neurons may be involved in the development of depression.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that BTVCs can alleviate depressive-like behaviours, restore damage to the hippocampus in CUMS rats and regulate serum metabolism, which may be related to endothelin-1 signalling or CREB signalling in neurons.

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