Orthogonal array design for antidepressant compatibility of polysaccharides from Banxia-Houpu decoction, a traditional Chinese herb prescription in the mouse models of depression

Arch Pharm Res. 2009 Oct;32(10):1417-23. doi: 10.1007/s12272-009-2011-6. Epub 2009 Nov 8.


The present study investigated antidepressant-like interaction of five herb polysaccharide fractions from Banxia-Houpu decoction, composed of rhizome pinelliae (PRP), magnolia bark (PMB), poria (PPO), ginger rhizome (PGR) and folium perillae (PFP) by a L(16)(2(5)) orthogonal array design with a two-factor interaction in the tail suspension and forced swimming and tests (TST, FST) in mice. Serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) levels in whole mouse brain were simultaneously examined after the FST exposure. Polysaccharides PMB, PPO, PFP, and interactions of PRP x PGR, PMB x PFP, PPO x PFP reduced immobility in the mouse FST. Furthermore, PMB and PPO were two principal components of polysaccharides elevating brain 5-HT levels. PFP was an adjuvant component elevating brain DA levels. These results demonstrated that ineffective PRP exhibited antidepressant-like effects when combined with another ineffective PGR, and PFP played a role in assisting effects of PMB and PPO. Therefore, PMB x PFP and PPO x PFP interactions on antidepressant-like effects were the cores in compatibility of polysaccharides from Banxia-Houpu decoction by attenuating abnormalities in the serotonergic and dopaminergic system functions in animal models of depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Stress, Psychological / drug therapy


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Banxia Houpo Tang
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Polysaccharides
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine