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Neurosci Lett. 2003 Dec 15;353(1):13-6.

The inhibitory effect of ginseng saponins on the stress-induced plasma interleukin-6 level in mice.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Institute of Natural Medicine, Hallym University, Chunchon, Kangwon-Do, 200-702, South Korea.


The effect of ginseng saponins on plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) in non-stressed and immobilization-stressed mice were investigated. Ginseng total saponins, ginsenosides Rb2, Rg1 and Rd administered intraperitoneally attenuated the immobilization stress-induced increase in plasma IL-6 level. But, intracerebroventricular injection of each ginsenoside did not affect plasma IL-6 level induced by immobilization stress. Ginsenosides Rb2, Rd and Rg1 significantly decreased norepinephrine and/or epinephrine-induced increase of IL-6 level in macrophage cell line (RAW 264.7). Thus, it can be suggested that the inhibitory action of ginseng saponins against the immobilization stress-induced increase of plasma IL-6 level would be in periphery; at least in part, mediated by blocking norepinephrine- and/or epinephrine-induced increase of IL-6 level in macrophage rather than in the brain. Ginseng saponins might be proposed as a possible candidate in the research or therapeutic modulation of stress-related disorders.

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