Aluminum trichloride (AlCl) exposure was proven to encourage some behavioral deficits and eventually induces anxiety and depression in rodents animals. Therefore, this experiment aimed to scout about the effects of pomegranate juice on anxiety- and depression-like behaviors caused by AlCl in male mice.
Six groups of male mice were administrated orally for 35 days by PJ and AlCl3. The control group (G-I) received tap water, while the PJ groups (G-II and G-III) were treated with 20 % and 40 % PJ, respectively. The AlCl group (G-IV) was treated with 400 mg/kg/day of AlCl and the last two groups (G-V and G-VI) were treated with AlCl and 20 % PJ or 40 % PJ, respectively. Then, the open-field (O-F), elevated plus maze (EPM), tail suspension (TS), forced swimming (FS), and light/dark box (L/DB) tests were applied for anxiety- and depression-like behavior studies. In addition, neurotransmitters and oxidative parameters in the brain were evaluated. The plasma cortisol was measured at the end of the experiment.
Behavioral analyses showed that PJ inhibited AlCl-induced depressive and anxiogenic effects in the O-F, EPM, TS, FS, L/DB tests. In addition, neurochemical results indicated that PJ at 20 % concentration minimized the AlCl toxicity on dopamine (DOP), serotonin (SER), and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) levels in the for-brain of male mice. Moreover, PJ moderated the AlCl effects by decreasing the level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and enhancing catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and glutathione (GSH) activities. The plasma cortisol increased in male mice treated with AlCl3 and in a group treated with a high dose of PJ.
Our results proposed that the anxiety- and depression-like behaviors induced by AlCl exposure in male mice can be ameliorated by PJ treatment, probably through the inhibition of oxidative damage and minimizing the changes in neurotransmitters and hormonal activity.

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