Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences ›› 2016, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (6): 458-465.DOI: 10.5246/jcps.2016.06.051

• Original articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Sini Powder extract produces antidepressant-like effects in a chronic social defeat stress model of depression in tree shrews

Shanshan Wei1, Hejin Yang2, Jiawen Huang2, Xueping Lu2, Lingfang Peng2, Qingguo Wang1*   

  1. 1. School of Basic Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100029, China
    2. Department of Drug Screening, Yunnan Institute of Materia Medica, Kunming, 650111, China
  • Received:2016-02-17 Revised:2016-03-27 Online:2016-06-29 Published:2016-04-16
  • Contact: Tel.: +86-010-64286727, Fax: +86-010-64213817, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2011CB505100) funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.


Sini Power (SP) is a famed traditional Chinese formula that has long been used to treat depression. Here, we investigated the effects and possible mechanisms of SP extract on an established model of depression: chronic stressed tree shrew, which mimics the human condition of social stress. The animals were divided into 4 groups. Except for the naïve group, the other animalswere subjected to daily social defeat stress for 5 weeks, and during the last 4 weeks treated with SP extract (3.6 g/kg/d), fluoxetine (15 mg/kg/d), and vehicle, respectively. The results showed that SP extract could reverse body weight loss to a certain extent and reduce the levels of urine/serum cortisol that were initially increased by chronic social defeat. In addition, SP extract increased hippocampus norepinephrine concentrations. Our data suggested that SP extract had positive effects on the main depression symptoms in the chronic stressed tree shrew model and that it may be used to help control hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hyperactivity.

Key words: Chronic stress, Tree shrews, Social defeat, Sini Powder extract, Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

CLC Number: