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J Ginseng Res. 2018 Jul;42(3):379-388. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2018.01.002. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Multitarget effects of Korean Red Ginseng in animal model of Parkinson's disease: antiapoptosis, antioxidant, antiinflammation, and maintenance of blood-brain barrier integrity.

Choi JH1,2, Jang M2,3, Nah SY4, Oh S5, Cho IH1,2,6.

Author information

1
Department of Science in Korean Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2
Brain Korea 21 Plus Program and Institute of Korean Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Cancer Preventive Material Development, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
4
Ginsentology Research Laboratory, Department of Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Bio/Molecular Informatics Center, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Neuroscience, Tissue Injury Defense Research Center, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
6
Department of Convergence Medical Science, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Background:

Ginsenosides are the main ingredients of Korean Red Ginseng. They have extensively been studied for their beneficial value in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the multitarget effects of Korean Red Ginseng extract (KRGE) with various components are unclear.

Methods:

We investigated the multitarget activities of KRGE on neurological dysfunction and neurotoxicity in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced mouse model of PD. KRGE (37.5 mg/kg/day, 75 mg/kg/day, or 150 mg/kg/day, per os (p.o.)) was given daily before or after MPTP intoxication.

Results:

Pretreatment with 150 mg/kg/day KRGE produced the greatest positive effect on motor dysfunction as assessed using rotarod, pole, and nesting tests, and on the survival rate. KRGE displayed a wide therapeutic time window. These effects were related to reductions in the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive dopaminergic neurons, apoptosis, microglial activation, and activation of inflammatory factors in the substantia nigra pars compacta and/or striatum after MPTP intoxication. In addition, pretreatment with KRGE activated the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 pathways and inhibited phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear factor-kappa B signaling pathways, as well as blocked the alteration of blood-brain barrier integrity.

Conclusion:

These results suggest that KRGE may effectively reduce MPTP-induced neurotoxicity with a wide therapeutic time window through multitarget effects including antiapoptosis, antiinflammation, antioxidant, and maintenance of blood-brain barrier integrity. KRGE has potential as a multitarget drug or functional food for safe preventive and therapeutic strategies for PD.

KEYWORDS:

1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine; Korean Red Ginseng extract; Multitarget effect

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