Effects of Platycodins Folium on Depression in Mice Based on a UPLC-Q/TOF-MS Serum Assay and Hippocampus Metabolomics

Molecules. 2019 May 2;24(9):1712. doi: 10.3390/molecules24091712.


Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as depression, is a state characterized by low mood and aversion to activity. Platycodins Folium (PF) is the dried leaf of Platycodon grandiflorum, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activities. Our previous research suggested that PF was rich in flavonoids, phenols, organic acids, triterpenoid saponins, coumarins and terpenoids. This study aimed to investigate the antidepressant effect of PF using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced depressive mice. Several behavior tests (sucrose preference test (SPT), forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST)) and biochemical parameters (IL-6, TNF-α and SOD levels) were used to evaluate the antidepressive effect of PF on LPS-induced depression model. Furthermore, a UPLC-Q/TOF-MS-based metabolomics approach was applied to explore the latent mechanism of PF in attenuating depression. As a result, a total of 21 and 11 metabolites that potentially contribute to MDD progress and PF treatment were identified in serum and hippocampus, respectively. The analysis of metabolic pathways revealed that lipid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism, arachidonic acid metabolism, glutathione metabolism and inositol phosphate metabolism were disturbed in a model of mice undergoing MDD and PF treatment. These results help us to understand the pathogenesis of depression in depth, and to discover targets for clinical diagnosis and treatment. They also provide the possibility of developing PF into an anti-depressantive agent.

Keywords: LPS-induced depression; Platycodins Folium; UPLC-Q/TOF-MS; metabolomics.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / chemistry
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Mice
  • Saponins / chemistry
  • Saponins / pharmacology*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Saponins
  • platycodin