Objectives To examine the effect of fresh lily and rhubarb powder on chronic stress depression on rats.
Methods A chronic unpredictable mild stress rat model of depression was established. Body mass, sugar consumption and open-field behavior were measured to assess the effect of fresh lily and rhubarb powder on rat behavior. Plasma MDA levels and erythrocyte SOD activity were measured using a kit, the fluorescence of brain tissue homogenates was measured to determine the 5-HT, NE and DA content of amine neurotransmitters, and the thymus and spleen were also examined for any changes.
Results In the rat chronic stress depression model, rats administered large and small doses of fresh lily and rhubarb powder over 3 weeks significantly increased their body weight (p < 0.05), while rats administered large, medium and small doses of fresh lily and rhubarb powder significantly increased their consumption of sucrose (p < 0.05). There was also a trend towards reduced plasma levels of MDA (p < 0.01) and the 3 min vertical motion score was significantly increased ( p < 0.05). Large doses of fresh lily and rhubarb powder significantly increased erythrocyte SOD activity (p < 0.05), while small doses of fresh lily and rhubarb powder significantly increased rat brain NE, 5-HT and DA levels (p < 0.01) and significantly increased the rat 3 min horizontal motion score (p < 0.05).
Conclusions Fresh lily and rhubarb powder exhibited a therapeutic effect on rats with depression.