Bee pollen increases hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor and suppresses neuroinflammation in adult rats with chronic immobilization stress.

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Saral Ö., Sahin H., Saral S., Alkanat M., Akyıldız K., Topçu A., ...More

Neuroscience letters, vol.766, pp.136342, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 766
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.neulet.2021.136342
  • Journal Name: Neuroscience letters
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Animal Behavior Abstracts, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.136342
  • Keywords: Anxiety, Bee pollen, BDNF, Hippocampus, TNF-alpha, ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY, DEPRESSION, PRODUCTS, MODELS
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Chronic stress is a potential problem associated with anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction. Bee pollen, a powerful antioxidant, has many therapeutic effects. In this study, we aimed to examine the effects of one of the Anatolian bee pollens on depression/anxiety. 24 male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups as control, stress, and bee pollen + stress. Bee pollen (200 mg/kg/day) was given to rats exposed to physical stress for 10 days. Open field test (OFT) and forced swimming test (FST) were applied to monitor the behavioral changes of the rats. After behavioral tests, the rats were euthanized. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels were measured by ELISA to evaluate neurological and biochemical changes in rat hippocampal tissue. In addition, malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) levels in the brain were evaluated. According to the behavioral test results, bee pollen reduced anxiety-like behavior but did not affect depression-like behavior. We also found that bee pollen suppressed neuroinflammation while reducing oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in hippocampal tissues. Moreover, bee pollen significantly increased the level of BDNF in the hippocampus. In conclusion, bee pollen reduced oxidative damage and neuroinflammation caused by immobilization stress in rat brain tissue. Therefore, we suggest that bee pollen may be an effective natural compound in alleviating the negative effects caused by immobilization stress.