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.
- Korean Red Ginseng extract
- Multitarget effect