Honokiol improves depression-like behaviors in rats by HIF-1α- VEGF signaling

Increasing evidence indicates that the pathogenesis of depression is closely linked to impairments in neuronal synaptic plasticity. Honokiol, a biologically active substance extracted from Magnolia Officinalis , has been proven to exert significant antidepressant effects.

Experimental results showed that honokiol significantly reversed CUMS-induced depression-like behaviors. Mechanically, honokiol exerted a significant antidepressant effect by enhancing synaptic plasticity.

Honokiol has protective effects on brain regions, such as the hippocampus and cortical neurons. Furthermore, it can block hippocampal endoplasmic reticulum stress to eliminate cognitive impairment and depression-like behaviors induced by chronic restraint stress

Other studies have reported that honokiol normalized the function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and increased the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus, which has an antidepressant effect on CUMS rat models. In addition to the above studies, numerous experimental studies have shown that honokiol has therapeutic effects in acute and chronic stress models, lipopolysaccharide depression model, and corticosterone-induced depression model