This study investigated the effect of berberine (BER) in the mouse forced swim test (FST) and in the tail suspension test (TST), two models predictive of antidepressant activity. We also investigated the antidepressant-like mechanism of BER by the combination of the desipramine [DES, an inhibitor of reuptake of noradrenaline (NA) and serotonin (5-HT)], maprotiline (MAP, selective NA reuptake inhibitor), fluoxetine (FLU, selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor) and moclobemide [MOC, monoamine oxidase (MAO) A inhibitor). Then we further measured the levels of monoamines [NA, dopamine (DA) and 5-HT) in mice striatum, hippocampus and frontal cortex. The results show that BER (10, 20 mg/kg, p.o.), significantly reduced the immobility time during the FST and the TST. The immobility time after treatment with BER (20 mg/kg, p.o.) in FST was augmented by DES, FLU and MOC, and not affected by MAP. Furthermore, BER (20 mg/kg, p.o.) increased NA and 5-HT levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. Our findings support the view that BER exerts antidepressant-like effect. The antidepressant-like mechanism of BER may be related to the increase in NA and 5-HT levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex.