Chronic stress is depressogenic by altering neurotrophic and neuroinflammatory environments of the organism. The endocannabinoid system controls cognitive and emotional responses related with stress through the interaction with endocannabinoid receptors. β-Caryophyllene (BCP) is a CB2 agonist that exhibited anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects but minimal psychoactive effects. To test if BCP exhibits antidepressant-like action, animals were chronically restrained with additional stressors for 28 days, and BCP (25, 50, 100 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally injected once a day during the stress inflicting period. Then despair related behaviors and hippocampal expression of neurotrophic, inflammatory and cannabinoid receptor levels were measured. To test the effect of BCP on long-term depression, field potentials were measured during the application of lipopolysaccharide and low frequency stimulation. In the tail suspension test and forced swim test, chronic stress-induced despair behaviors were reduced by BCP. Also BCP improved the stress-related changes in the hippocampal expression of COX-2, BDNF, and CB2 receptor expression. In organotypic hippocampal slices, BCP reduced the lipopolysaccharide-induced intensification of the long-term depression. In conclusion, BCP improved chronic stress related behavioral and biochemical changes. These results suggest that BCP may be effective in treating depression and stress related mental illnesses.
- Cannabinoid 2 receptor