In the present study, we aimed to investigate the protective effect of blueberry extract on behavioral, biochemical, and morphological changes in an experimental model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced depressive behavior. Male Swiss mice were pretreated with the vehicle, fluoxetine (20 mg/kg), or Vaccinium virgatum extract (100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg) for seven days. On day 7, the animals were administered an LPS injection (0.83 mg/kg) or vehicle. Pretreatment with blueberry extract prevented LPS-induced depressive-like behavior. Moreover, LPS increased serum levels of total cholesterol; however, V. virgatum did not prevent the increase in total cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the extract prevented the LPS-induced elevation in serum reactive oxygen species. Also, V. virgatum extract increased the HDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, this extract prevented the LPS-induced decrease in glucose levels and serum adenosine deaminase activity. Collectively, V. virgatum extract has a potential protective effect against changes similar to those observed in patients with depression. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Vaccinium virgatum, popularly known as blueberry, has been effective in preventing or treating neuropsychiatric diseases owing to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. Fluoxetine is a known drug used to treat depression; however, its adverse effects result in therapeutic non-adherence. Thus, the search for new natural compounds possessing antidepressant activities while lacking adverse effects is crucial for identifying novel therapeutic alternatives against depression.
Keywords: LPS; blood glucose; blueberry; depression; lipid profile.
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