Neuroprotective effect of Korean Red Ginseng against single prolonged stress-induced memory impairments and inflammation in the rat brain associated with BDNF expression

Bombi Lee, Bongjun Sur, Seikwan Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disease that develops following exposure to a traumatic event and is a stress-associated mental disorder characterized by an imbalance of neuroinflammation. Korean Red Ginseng (KRG) is the herbal supplement that is known to be involved in a variety of pharmacological activities. We aimed to investigate the effects of KRG on neuroinflammation as a potential mechanism involved in single prolonged stress (SPS) that negatively influences memory formation and consolidation and leads to cognitive and spatial impairment by regulating BDNF signaling, synaptic proteins, and the activation of NF-kB. Methods: We analyzed the cognitive and spatial memory, and inflammatory cytokine levels during the SPS procedure. SPS model rats were injected intraperitoneally with 20, 50, or 100 mg/kg/day KRG for 14 days. Results: KRG administration significantly attenuated the cognitive and spatial memory deficits, as well as the inflammatory reaction in the hippocampus associated with activation of NF-κB in the hippocampus induced by SPS. Moreover, the effects of KRG were equivalent to those exerted by paroxetine. In addition, KRG improved the expression of BDNF mRNA and the synaptic protein PSD-95 in the hippocampus. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that KRG exerts memory-improving actions by regulating anti-inflammatory activities and the NF-κB and neurotrophic pathway. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that KRG is a potential functional ingredient for protecting against memory deficits in mental diseases, such as PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-443
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ginseng Research
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Inflammation
  • Korean Red Ginseng
  • Memory
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Single prolonged stress

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