Accession Number:



Effects of Herbal Supplements on PTSD-Induced Changes in Rat Behavior & Brain Gene Expression

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 1 Jul 2010-31 Mar 2014

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Purpose This research proposal was to investigate specific compounds, tetrahydropalmatine THP and L-Theanine L-Th, on neurobehavioral effects and specific gene expression in a PTSD rodent model. The aims were to determine the effects of THP and L-Th on anxiety, locomotion, memory, hyperarousal, and gene expression in the brain in the rodent PTSD model. Design A prospective experimental between groups design was used. Methods Eighty rats were equally divided into two groups, non-stressed and PTSD-stressed. They were then subdivided into four groups control, THP or L-Th, midazolam, or THP or L-Th and midazolam. The behavioral component was evaluated using the elevated plus-maze EPM, acoustic startle reflex ASR, or Morris water maze MWM, in a restraintshock stress model. Sample Eighty rats were used for each herbal supplement THP or L-Th studied. Analysis Data analysis was performed using two-tailed Multivariate Analysis of Variance MANOVA and LSD post-hoc tests. Findings These studies establish a solid framework for future investigation of PTSD treatments. Data showed that there were significant differences in anxiety between groups in both the THP and L-Th studies p0.05. Significant transcriptional fold changes were found in important genes involved in dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and GABA neurotransmitter systems with both herbal compounds. These results provide quantifiable data demonstrating gene expression changes in PTSD-stressed and non-stressed rats receiving various treatments. Additionally, these findings contribute important data to the limited molecular details pertaining to the understanding of the genetic mechanisms involved in the neurobiology of PTSD. Implications for Military Nursing This proposal assists military nurses and other health care personnel to expand their understanding of the neurobehavioral and basic physiologic and cellular mechanisms responsible for PTSD.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pharmacology

Distribution Statement: