Ginsenoside Rg1 promotes proliferation of hippocampal progenitor cells

Li-Hong Shen, Jun-Tian Zhang
Neurological Research 2004, 26 (4): 422-8
Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) exist not only in the developing brain, but also in certain areas in adult brain in mammals. Recent studies suggest that promoting neurogenesis in adult mammals might provide a therapeutic way to cure age-related neurodegenerative diseases. So, it will be of great value to find out drugs that can increase the proliferation and/or differentiation ability of neural progenitors. The present study investigated the influence of ginsenoside Rg1, an active ingredient of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, on proliferation ability of rodent hippocampal progenitor cells both in vitro and in vivo. Incubation of NPCs with ginsenoside Rg1 resulted in significant increase in absorbency value, 3H-thymidine incorporation and the number of proliferating progenitor cell spheres; In addition, 2 weeks Rg1 administration (i.p.) led to marked enhancement of the number of dividing cells in the hippocampus of adult mice. These findings suggest that ginsenoside Rg1 is involved in the regulation of proliferation of hippocampal progenitor cells and this effect may serve as one of the elementary mechanisms underlying its nootropic and anti-aging actions.

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