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Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1242-5. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3389. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Preventive action of Panax ginseng roots in hypercortisolism-induced Impairment of hippocampal neurons in male C57BL/6N mice.

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Laboratory of Pathological Sciences, Basic Medical College, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210046, China.


An increasing number of people suffering from hypercortisolism are at risk of developing hippocampus impairment and mental disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the water extract of Panax ginseng roots (GWE) could prevent hypercortisolism-induced adverse consequences. Hypercortisolism was experimentally induced by repeated corticosterone injection in male mice. Treatment with corticosterone alone resulted in a significant decrease in hippocampus neurofilament light chain (NF-L) protein expression and induced depression-like behavior. Serum corticosterone was significantly increased in the corticosterone-treated mice. Treatment with GWE (800 and 400 mg/kg) during corticosterone treatment reduced or partially antagonized the effects induced by corticosterone toward the normal values of the controls; however, it failed to normalize increased corticosterone levels in corticosterone-treated mice. Overall, ginseng conclusively exhibited a protective action against hypercortisolism-induced impairment of hippocampal neurons.

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