Original Article

Ginsenoside Rg1 reduces MPTP-induced substantia nigra neuron loss by suppressing oxidative stress1

Xiao-chun CHEN, Yi-can ZHOU, Ying CHEN, Yuan-gui ZHU, Fang FANG, Li-min CHEN


Aim: To investigate the effect of ginsenoside Rg1, an effective ingredient from
ginsenoside, on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced
substantia nigra neuron lesion.
Methods: C57-BL mice were given MPTP to
prepare Parkinson disease mice model. Different doses of Rg1 (5, 10, and 20
mg•kg-1•d-1) or N-acetylcystein (NAC) (300 mg•kg-1•d-1) were given 3 d prior to
MPTP in the pretreatment groups. Glutathione (GSH) level and total superoxide
dismutase (T-SOD) activity in substantia nigra were determined by spectrophotometry.
Nissl staining, tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining, and TUNEL labeling
were used to observe the damage and apoptosis of nigral neurons. Western
blot analysis was used to detect the phospho-JNK and phospho-c-Jun levels in
midbrain homogenates.
Results: Pretreatments of C57-BL mice with different
doses of Rg1 or NAC were found to protect against MPTP-induced substantia
nigra neurons loss. Rg1 or NAC prevented GSH reduction and T-SOD activation
in substantia nigra, and attenuated the phosphorylations of JNK and c-Jun following
MPTP treatment.
Conclusion: The antioxidant property of Rg1 along with
the blocking of JNK signaling cascade might contribute to the neuroprotective
effect of ginsenoside Rg1 against MPTP.