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Pharmacol Res. 2006 Jul;54(1):46-9. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

The antistress effect of ginseng total saponin and ginsenoside Rg3 and Rb1 evaluated by brain polyamine level under immobilization stress.

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Bioanalysis and Biotransformation Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 131, Cheongryang, Seoul 130-650, South Korea.


The present study aims to demonstrate the ability of ginseng total saponin (GTS), ginsenosides Rg3 and Rb1 to reduce brain polyamine levels in immobilization-stressed gerbil mice. A previous study reported that ginsenosides had an anti-stress property. So, we tested the anti-stress effect of ginseng by investigating the brain level of polyamine, a well-known stress stimuli marker. We determined the brain polyamine levels under 30-min immobilization stress in pretreating GTS (100 mgkg(-1), oral), ginsenosides Rg3 and Rb1 (10 mgkg(-1), oral, respectively). Then, we compared polyamine levels between the non-stressed mouse and the stressed mouse which had taken saline orally to check the placebo effect. Putrescine (PUT) levels were significantly increased (P < 0.01) in the stressed condition, but it was reduced in pretreatment of GTS, ginsenosides Rg3 (P < 0.01, respectively) and Rb1 (P < 0.001) under 30-min immobilization stressed-mouse. However, other polyamine levels did not change regardless of stressed condition or GTS-, ginsenosides Rg3- and Rb1-treated stressed condition. These results mean that only PUT could be a marker for stress and GTS, ginsenosides Rg3 and Rb1 administration lead to an anti-stress effect. Thus, our studies indicate that GTS, ginsenosides Rg3 and Rb1 may play a neuroprotective role in the immobilization-stressed brain.

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