Recent studies have shown that a higher consumption of green tea leads to a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in elderly individuals. However, no studies have explored the antidepressant-like effect of green tea in preclinical models of depression. The aim of this study was to investigate the antidepressant-like effects and the possible mechanism of action of green tea in widely used mouse models of depression. Mice were orally administered green tea polyphenols (GTP; 5, 10 and 20mg/kg) for 7days and assessed in the forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) 60min after the last GTP administration. Serum corticosterone and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) levels were also determined immediately after the FST. Green tea polyphenols significantly reduced immobility in both the FST and TST but did not alter locomotor activity in the open field test, suggesting that GTP has antidepressant-like effects, and this action did not induce nonspecific motor changes in mice. Green tea polyphenols also reduced serum corticosterone and ACTH levels in mice exposed to the FST. The present study demonstrated that GTP exerts antidepressant-like effects in a mouse behavioral models of depression, and the mechanism may involve inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
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