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Phytother Res. 2002 Aug;16(5):474-8.

Effect of Acanthopanax senticosus Harms on biogenic monoamine levels in the rat brain.

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Department of Biochemistry, Mie University Faculty of Medicine, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan.


The extract of the stem bark of Acanthopanax senticosus Harms (ASH) is known to have healing and protective effects on stress-induced disturbance of mental status. We have analysed whether a single or chronic (2 week) administration of ASH can affect concentrations of noradrenaline (NA), dopamine (DA) and their metabolites in the normal rat brain. A single p.o. administration of ASH elevated the NA and DA levels in the whole brain of rats in a dose-dependent manner. A single or 2 week administration of ASH (500 mg/kg) showed a marked increase in the DA level only in the striatum. However, NA levels were increased by a single dose of ASH in a wide range of brain regions such as the cortex, hypothalamus, striatum, hippocampus, substantia nigra and pons. When administered for 2 weeks no increase in NA levels was seen in these brain regions, except for an increase in the frontal cortex and anterior hypothalamus. The present results suggest that ASH may act by regulating NA and DA levels in specific brain regions related to stress response and Parkinson's disease.

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