Ziyi Guo1, Jianping Yao1, *, Shujuan Ma2, Zhenbo Yang1, Xian Li1, Meiying Huang1, Qiang Wei1, and Huixian Jie1


1Henan University of Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou, Henan 450046, China - 2The First Affiliated Hospital, Henan University of Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou, Henan 450000, China


Objective: To explore the effects of Kidney Tonic and Liver Dispersing formula on Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortical (HPA) axis function of senile depression rats.

Methods: Fifty-two male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into four groups. Normal, Senile depression. Kidney Tonifying and Liver Dispersing (KTLD) and Fluoxertine. There were ten rats in every group. All the rats in the 4 groups were fed naturally until 16 months old. From the age of 16 months. Depression model was induced by chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) in the other three groups of rats except the control group. At the same time, KTLD group and FH group rats were accordingly administered with KTLD soup (14.62g/kg/d) and FH (1.8 mg/kg/d) for a total of 21 days. Rats in blank control group and senile depression group were given the same amount of normal saline respectively. Open field experiment was used to observe the behavior of rats. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) were used to detect the level of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA in hypothalamus and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) mRNA in pituitary. Quantity of CRH, ACTH and corticosterone (CORT) in serum were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). 

Results:  Compared with Control group , the level of CRH mRNA in hypothalamus, ACTH mRNA in pituitary and the quantity of  CRH , ACTH and CORT in serum were all increased in Senile depression group (P<0.05). Compared with Senile depression group , the level of CRH mRNA  in hypothalamus , ACTH mRNA  in pituitary and the quantity of  CRH, ACTH and CORT in serum were all decreased in KTLD group and FH group rats (P<0.05). Compared between KTLD group and FH group, there were no evident difference (P>0.05).

Conclusion: KTLD formula can significantly downregulate the hyperfunction of HPA axis in senile depression rats.


Senile Depression, kidney tonic and liver dispersing, HPA axis.