Antidepressant effects of a polysaccharide from okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L) Moench) by anti-inflammation and rebalancing the gut microbiota

Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 Feb 1:144:427-440. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.12.138. Epub 2019 Dec 17.


The present study aimed to evaluate the antidepressant-like effect of a polysaccharide (OP), which is isolated from okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L) Moench), in CUMS-induced mice and its possible mechanisms. OPT, FST and TST were employed to examine the anxiety and depressive behavior in CUMS-induced mice and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) CUMS-induced mice, while proinflammatory cytokines, TLR4/NF-κB pathway and MAPKs signaling were detected in both CUMS-induced mice and LPS-induced BV2 cells. The results showed that anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors, gut microbiota dysbiosis and changes of SCFAs, and activation of inflammatory reactions in the colon, serum, and hippocampus of CUMS-induced mice, as well as activation of inflammatory reactions in BV2 cells, could be alleviated by the treatment of OP. The mice that were colonized by OP microbiota showed improved anxiety and depressive behaviors and lower inflammatory response. Furthermore, OP inhibited the expression of TLR4, the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and high levels of proinflammatory cytokines, and enhanced the MAPKs signaling, these effects of OP also observed in LPS-induced BV2 cells. Above all, suggested that the potential mechanism of the antidepressant-like effects of OP was closely correlated with the bidirectional communication of microbiota-gut-brain axis via regulation of inflammation response.

Keywords: Depression; Inflammation; Microbiota; OP; TLR4/NF-κB.

MeSH terms

  • Abelmoschus / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents / chemistry
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Polysaccharides