Ming Zhong 1 , Xiaoting Tian 2 , Shuoji Chen 2 , Mingcang Chen 2 , Ziqiong Guo 2 , Minna Zhang 1 , Gongpu Zheng 1 , Zhixiong Li 2 , Zhangpeng Shi 2 , Guanghui Wang 1 , Honggang Gao 1 , Fang Liu , 2 , Chenggang Huang , 2
24 September 2019
Modern pharmacological studies have demonstrated that Baihe–Zhimu decoction (BZD) has antidepressant effects. However, the complex composition and lack of clear evaluation standards for BZD make it less likely to be understood and accepted than evidence-based active natural compounds.
In this study, an effective method for the identification of antidepressant components was demonstrated and applied to BZD. The first step was to evaluate the efficacy of BZD by the forced swimming test (FST) and the tail suspension test (TST), followed by successive quantitative analyses of the absorbed constituents at different stages, such as before hepatic disposition, liver distribution, after hepatic disposition and brain distribution after the oral administration of BZD. Finally, the compounds detected in the brain were confirmed by activity testing.
Our investigation observed that timosaponin BII and timosaponin BIII were accurately determined in the brain after oral administration of BZD, and they were further confirmed to reduce the immobility time in the FST and TST. As described above, timosaponin BII and timosaponin BIII were used to scientifically and reasonably explain the effective chemical basis of the effect of BZD on depression.