2011 Volume 34 Issue 9 Pages 1481-1486
Depression is a significant public health problem and some reports indicate an association between depression and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Luteolin is a flavonoid contained in many plants and with a variety of known pharmacological properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and memory-improving effects, suggesting that luteolin penetrates into the brain. In the present study, we investigated the effects of luteolin on endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced neuronal cell death. Luteolin significantly suppressed tunicamycin-induced cell death at 1 to 10 μM in human neuroblastoma cells. Luteolin increased in the expression of the 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein and 94 kDa glucose-regulated protein and decreased in the cleavage activation of caspase-3. Additionally, to investigate whether chronic luteolin treatment has an antidepression effect, we performed some behavioral tests. Chronic luteolin treatment showed antidepressant-like effects in behavioral tests and, luteolin attenuated the expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress-related proteins in the hippocampus of corticosterone-treated depression model mice. These findings indicate that luteolin has antidepressant-like effects, partly due to the suppression of endoplasmic reticulum stress.