Previous studies have demonstrated that lycopene possesses anti-inflammatory properties in the central nervous system. However, the potential role and the molecular mechanisms of lycopene in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenge inflammation and depression-like behaviors has not been clearly investigated. The present study aimed to assess the effects and the potential mechanisms of lycopene on LPS-induced depression-like behaviors. Lycopene was orally administered (60mg/kg) every day for seven days followed by intraperitoneal LPS injection (1mg/kg). The Forced swim test and tail suspension test were used to detect changes in the depression-like behaviors. ELISA was used to measure the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α(TNF-α) in the plasma. Immunoblotting was performed to measure the expression of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in the hippocampus. The results showed that pretreatment with lycopene could ameliorate depression-like behaviors. Moreover, lycopene relieved neuronal cell injury in hippocampal CA1 regions. Furthermore, lycopene decreased LPS-induced expression of IL-1β and HO-1 in the hippocampus together with decreasing level of IL-6 and TNF-α in the plasma. Taken together, these results suggest that lycopene can attenuate LPS-induced inflammation and depression-like behaviors, which may be involved in regulating HO-1 in the hippocampus.
Keywords: Heme oxygenase-1; Hippocampus; Interleukin-1β; Lipopolysaccharide; Lycopene.
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