Cinnamomum zeylanicum extract has antidepressant-like effects by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor in prefrontal cortex of rats

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Biology, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran.

2 Cancer and Immunology Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran

4 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

5 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran.

6 Neurosciences Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran


Objective: Depression is one of the most common mood disorders. Considering the evidence on the effect of Cinnamomum on mood disorders, this study investigatedthe effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Cinnamomum (HEC) in an animal model of depression.
Materials and Methods: Thirty-two male rats were selected and divided into four groups (n=8) including: control, depressed, and depressed treated with200 and 400 mg/kg HEC. Depression induction protocol was conducted in all groups except for the control group. Sucrose preference test (SPT) and forced swimming test (FST) were done to analyze the depression score. After four weeks, the animals brain cortex was removed and BDNF protein and tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB) gene expression levels were determined by ELISA and Real Time PCR, respectively.
Results: The results of this study showed that 400 mg/kg of HEC increased the tendency to drink the sucrose solution. Furthermore, immobility time significantly increased in the depressed group compared to the control group while it was attenuated by administration of 400 mg/kg extract on the 28th day versus the depressed group. Also the extract at both doses increased swimming time compared to the depressed group. In addition, an increase in the BDNF protein and TrkB gene expression levels was observed in the prefrontal cortex of the treatment groups.
Conclusion: We found that HEC ameliorated depression symptoms in rats and these effects were probably due to an increase in BDNF proteins and its receptor, TrkB, gene expressions in the prefrontal cortex.


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