Abstract Title:

Ginsenoside Rk1 alleviates LPS-induced depression-like behavior in mice by promoting BDNF and suppressing the neuroinflammatory response.

Abstract Source:

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Oct 1 ;530(4):658-664. Epub 2020 Aug 5. PMID: 32768191

Abstract Author(s):

Zhiman Li, Lijuan Zhao, Jianbo Chen, Chang Liu, Shanshan Li, Mei Hua, Di Qu, Zijun Shao, Yinshi Sun

Article Affiliation:

Zhiman Li


Ginsenoside Rk1, a saponin component produced by heat-processed ginseng, possesses anti-inflammatory and antitumor activities. The aim of our study was to explore the effects of Rk1 on Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced depression-like behavior in mice and to observe its effects on oxidative stress, the inflammatory response and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) signaling. After mice were pretreated with Rk1 (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg), the immobility time in both the forced swimming test (FST) and the tail suspension test (TST) was reduced, suggesting that Rk1 effectively improved depression-like symptoms. Rk1 (10 and 20 mg/kg) and Fluoxetine (Flu, 20 mg/kg) increased the activity of the antioxidant enzyme SOD in the brain and protected against lipid peroxidation. Different concentrations of Rk1 (10 and 20 mg/kg) and Flu significantly decreased the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1 in serum, while Rk1 (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg) and Flu reduced the concentrations of IL-6 in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis showed that the administration of Rk1 (20 mg/kg) and Flu significantly downregulated the level of Sirt1 and that Rk1 (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg) and Flu inhibited the p-NF-κb/NF-κb and p-IκB-α/IκB-α ratios, which indicated that the neuroprotective effect of Rk1 may be related to the suppression of inflammation. In addition 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg Rk1 significantly attenuated the LPS-induced decreases in BDNF and TrkB. These results indicated that Rk1 acts as an antidepressant through its antioxidant activity, the inhibition of neuroinflammation, and the positiveregulation of the BDNF-TrkB pathway. This study may help develop active ginsenoside-based compounds for neurodegenerative diseases.

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