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Mol Brain. 2019 Sep 5;12(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s13041-019-0495-7.

Minor ginsenoside F1 improves memory in APP/PS1 mice.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, KAIST Institute for the BioCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 34141, South Korea.
2
Intelligent Synthetic Biology Center, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 34141, South Korea.
3
Department of Biological Sciences, KAIST Institute for the BioCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 34141, South Korea. sunckim@kaist.ac.kr.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, KAIST Institute for the BioCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 34141, South Korea. han.jinhee@kaist.ac.kr.

Abstract

Ginseng has been shown to produce a cognitive improvement effect. The key molecular components in ginseng that produce pharmacological effects are ginsenosides. Previous studies reported a memory improvement effect of a few major ginsenosides. However, the identity of specific minor ginsenosides mediating such function remains unknown. Here, we report that a minor ginsenoside F1 improves memory function in APPswe/PSEN1dE9 (APP/PS1) double-transgenic Alzheimer's disease (AD) model mice. After 8-wk oral administration of F1 jelly, we observed that spatial working memory, but not context-dependent fear memory, was restored in AD mice. To search for a possible underlying molecular and cellular mechanism, we investigated the effect of F1 on Aβ plaque. We observed F1 administration reduced the Aβ plaque area and density in the cortex, but not in the hippocampus of AD mice. Next, we tested for the effect of F1 on the expression level of key molecules involved in learning and memory. Results from Western blot assay revealed that an abnormally reduced level of a phosphorylated form of CREB in the hippocampus of AD mice was restored to a normal level by F1 administration. Moreover, in the same animals, BDNF level was augmented in the cortex. Our results, therefore, suggest that minor ginsenoside F1 constitutes a promising target to develop therapeutic agents for AD.

KEYWORDS:

APP/PS1 mice; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid-beta plaque; BDNF; Ginsenoside F1; pCREB

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