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J Ginseng Res. 2018 Oct;42(4):429-435. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2017.04.008. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Proteomic change by Korean Red Ginseng in the substantia nigra of a Parkinson's disease mouse model.

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Department of Korean Medical Science, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Republic of Korea.
KM Fundamental Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
Korean Medicine Research Center for Healthy Aging, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Republic of Korea.



Recent studies have shown that Korean Red Ginseng (KRG) successfully protects against dopaminergic neuronal death in the nigrostriatal pathway of a Parkinson's disease (PD) mouse model induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) administration; however, the mechanism has yet to be identified. Therefore, in this study we used two-dimensional electrophoresis to investigate the effects of KRG on the changes in protein expression in the substantia nigra (SN) of MPTP-treated mice.


Male C57BL/6 mice (9 wk old) were intraperitoneally administered MPTP (20 mg/kg) four times at 2-h intervals, after which KRG (100 mg/kg) was orally administered once a day for 5 d. Two hours after the fifth KRG administration, a pole test was conducted to evaluate motor function, after which the brains were immediately collected. Survival of dopaminergic neurons was measured by immunohistochemistry, and protein expression was measured by two-dimensional electrophoresis and Western blotting.


KRG alleviated MPTP-induced behavioral dysfunction and neuronal toxicity in the SN. Additionally, the expression of eight proteins related to neuronal formation and energy metabolism for survival were shown to have changed significantly in response to MPTP treatment or KRG administration. KRG alleviated the downregulated protein expression following MPTP administration, indicating that it may enhance neuronal development and survival in the SN of MPTP-treated mice.


These findings indicate that KRG may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of patients with PD.


1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine; Korea Red Ginseng; Parkinson's disease; substantia nigra; two-dimensional electrophoresis

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