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Journal of Tea Science ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (4): 511-524.doi: 10.13305/j.cnki.jts.2021.04.005

• Research Paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Intervention Effects of L-Theanine on the Damage of Hippocampus and Gut in CUMS Depressed Rats

CHEN Meiyan1,2, LIU Fen1,2, LIN Yong1,2,3,*, ZUO Gaolong1,2, ZUO Yingpeng1,2, LIU Zhonghua1,2,3   

  1. 1. Key Lab of Tea Science of Ministry of Education, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China;
    2. National Research Center of Engineering Technology for Utilization of Botanical Functional Ingredients, Changsha 410128, China;
    3. Hunan Collaborative Innovation Center for Utilization of Botanical Functional Ingredients, Changsha 410128, China
  • Received:2020-11-02 Revised:2021-03-13 Online:2021-08-15 Published:2021-08-12

Abstract: Using SPF-grade SD male rats as experimental animals, a rat model of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) was established and different doses of L-theanine were given intragastrically for intervention. Then, the effects of L-theanine on the depression-like behaviors, histopathological changes and the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) contents of hippocampus and gut were observed and evaluated, which aimed to explore the intervention effects of L-theanine on the structural damage and dysfunction of hippocampus and gut in CUMS depressed rats. The results show that, compared with the model group, pretreatment with different doses of L-theanine improved the body weight,sugar-water preference, number of crossing and rearing, activity in water, number of entering the light box and the duration time of ratsat different degrees, especially the middle-dose group (100 mg·kg-1) reached a significant level. L-theanine effectively repaired hippocampal neuron damage caused by CUMS, reduced IL-6 and TNF-α levels in serum, colon and cecum and attenuated the damage and inflammation degree of the colon and cecum tissues, and the middle-dose group also exhibited better effect. L-theanine could increase the contents of 5-HT and GLP-1 in hippocampus, cerebral cortex and colon of CUMS rats, and reached significant levels under some conditions. These results indicate that L-theanine can effectively improve the depression-like behavior, structural damage and dysfunction of hippocampus and gut in CUMS model rats, and its regulation of ‘gut-brain axis’ may be the action mechanism of anti-depression.

Key words: L-theanine, depression-like behavior, hippocampus, gut damage, gut-brain axis

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