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Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2016 Aug;119(2):193-201. doi: 10.1111/bcpt.12562. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

Neuroprotective Effect of Ginsenoside Rd in Spinal Cord Injury Rats.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
Disease Control and Prevention Center of Shenyang Railway Bureau, Shenyang, China.


In this study, the neuroprotective effects of ginsenoside Rd (GS Rd) were evaluated in a rat model of spinal cord injury (SCI). Rats in SCI groups received a T8 laminectomy and a spinal contusion injury. GS Rd 12.5, 25 and 50 mg/kg were administered intraperitoneally 1 hr before the surgery and once daily for 14 days. Dexamethasone 1 mg/kg was administered as a positive control. Locomotor function was evaluated using the BBB score system. H&E staining and Nissl staining were performed to observe the histological changes in the spinal cord. The levels of MDA and GSH and the activity of SOD were assessed to reflect the oxidative stress state. The production of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-1 was assessed using ELISA kits to examine the inflammatory responses in the spinal cord. TUNEL staining was used to detect the cell apoptosis in the spinal cord. Western blot analysis was used to examine the expression of apoptosis-associated proteins and MAPK proteins. The results demonstrated that GS Rd 25 and 50 mg/kg significantly improved the locomotor function of rats after SCI, reduced tissue injury and increased neuron survival in the spinal cord. Mechanically, GS Rd decreased MDA level, increased GSH level and SOD activity, reduced the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and prevented cell apoptosis. The effects were equivalent to those of dexamethasone. In addition, GS Rd effectively inhibited the activation of MAPK signalling pathway induced by SCI, which might be involved in the protective effects of GS Rd against SCI. In conclusion, GS Rd attenuates SCI-induced secondary injury through reversing the redox-state imbalance, inhibiting the inflammatory response and apoptosis in the spinal cord tissue.

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