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Activity of ginseng on central nervous system

  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Institute of Pharmacy

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The experiment was done on albino Wister rat in elevated plus maze and Rotarod apparatus by using dried ginseng roots from which it can be stated that the Panax ginseng has CNS stimulant properties. In elevated plus maze apparatus the P ginseng and caffeine treated animals shows increased numbers of entries than the untreated or controlled animals. In other hand in rote rod apparatus the animals treated with caffeine and P. ginseng spend more time on rod than the controlled or untreated animal. From the above findings it was evident that the Panax ginseng extract has shown significant CNS stimulant activity as the results were statistically calculated. Introduction Ginseng is a medicinal plant widely used for the treatment of various conditions. The pharmacological effects of ginseng have been demonstrated in cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and have been used for promoting immune function, central nervous system (CNS) function, relieving stress, and for its antioxidant activities [1]. The root of Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer, which is known as Korean or Asian ginseng, is a valuable and an important folk medicine in East Asian countries, including China, Korea, and Japan, for more than 2000 years. P. anaxis derived from the word "panacea," which means a cure for all diseases and a source of longevity as well as physical strength and resistance. As the use of traditional Chinese herbs for medicinal and dietary purposes becomes increasingly popular in Western countries, sales of P. ginseng are increasing in North America and Europe as well as in other parts of the world. The major bioactive components of P. ginseng are the ginsenosides, a group of saponins with dammarane triterpenoid structure [2]. Almost 50 ginsenosides have been isolated from P. ginseng root (white and red ginsengs), and novel structures continue to be identified, particularly from Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) and Panax japonica (Japanese ginseng) as well as their berries [3-6]. In this chapter, we review the structural and pharmacological properties of ginseng, and its active constituents, including ginsenosides, polysaccharides, and polyacetylene alcohols. The pharmacological and clinical usages of ginseng, particularly ginsenosides, are discussed in relation to its anticancer, antidiabetic, immunomodulatory functions, and improving CNS functions including learning, memory, and neurodegenerative diseases.
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Ginsenosides (GND) are chemically triterpenoid saponin in nature. According to the presence of aglycones, dammarane and oleanane are the two types of GND. These are mostly observed in species of Panax. The researchers have discovered over one hundred fifty substances from stocks, grasses, shoots, florets, drupes from the ginseng plant. GND and their derivatives are the main chemical constituents of the ginseng plant. Recently, GND are gaining increasing interests among natural product scientists. GND have many significant pharmacological activities, including anti-oxidation, mmunomodulation, and preventive actions in cancer, inflammation, stress, and hypertension, etc. The metabolism of GND involves two significant metabolic reactions, including acid hydrolysis and hydrolytic reactions oriented from bacterial origins. After metabolism, GND are transformed into a more active GND derivatives. The utilization and changes of unblemished GND, which appears to assume a significant job for their potential wellbeing impacts, are discussed in this chapter.
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Panax ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance stamina and capacity to cope with fatigue and physical stress. Major active components are the ginsenosides, which are mainly triterpenoid dammarane derivatives. The mechanisms of ginseng actions remain unclear, although there is an extensive literature that deals with effects on the CNS (memory, learning, and behavior), neuroendocrine function, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, immune function, and the cardiovascular system. Reports are often contradictory, perhaps because the ginsenoside content of ginseng root or root extracts can differ, depending on the method of extraction, subsequent treatment, or even the season of its collection. Therefore, use of standardized, authentic ginseng root both in research and by the public is to be advocated. Several recent studies have suggested that the antioxidant and organ-protective actions of ginseng are linked to enhanced nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in endothelium of lung, heart, and kidney and in the corpus cavernosum. Enhanced NO synthesis thus could contribute to ginseng-associated vasodilatation and perhaps also to an aphrodisiac action of the root. Ginseng is sold in the U.S. as a food additive and thus need not meet specific safety and efficacy requirements of the Food and Drug Administration. Currently, such sales amount to over $300 million annually. As public use of ginseng continues to grow, it is important for this industry and Federal regulatory authorities to encourage efforts to study the efficacy of ginseng in humans by means of appropriately designed double-blind clinical studies.
Ginsenosides are a special group of triterpenoid saponins that can be classified into two groups by the skeleton of their aglycones, namely dammarane- and oleanane-type. Ginsenosides are found nearly exclusively in Panax species (ginseng) and up to now more than 150 naturally occurring ginsenosides have been isolated from roots, leaves/stems, fruits, and/or flower heads of ginseng. Ginsenosides have been the target of a lot of research as they are believed to be the main active principles behind the claims of ginsengs efficacy. The potential health effects of ginsenosides that are discussed in this chapter include anticarcinogenic, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antiatherosclerotic, antihypertensive, and antidiabetic effects as well as antistress activity and effects on the central nervous system. Ginsensoides can be metabolized in the stomach (acid hydrolysis) and in the gastrointestinal tract (bacterial hydrolysis) or transformed to other ginsenosides by drying and steaming of ginseng to more bioavailable and bioactive ginsenosides. The metabolization and transformation of intact ginsenosides, which seems to play an important role for their potential health effects, are discussed. Qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques for the analysis of ginsenosides are important in relation to quality control of ginseng products and plant material and for the determination of the effects of processing of plant material as well as for the determination of the metabolism and bioavailability of ginsenosides. Analytical techniques for the analysis of ginsenosides that are described in this chapter are thin-layer chromatography (TLC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with various detectors, gas chromatography (GC), colorimetry, enzyme immunoassays (EIA), capillary electrophoresis (CE), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and spectrophotometric methods.
The methanolic extract and 1-butanol-soluble fraction of American ginseng, the roots of Panax quinquefolium L., were found to exhibit a protective effect on liver injury induced by D-galactosamine and lipopolysaccharide. Five new dammarane-type triterpene oligoglycosides called quinquenosides I, II, III, IV, and V were isolated together with fourteen known dammarane-type triterpene oligoglycosides such as chikusetsusaponin IVa, pseudo-ginsenoside-RC1, malonyl-ginsenoside-Rb1, and notoginsenosides-A,-C, and -K from the 1-butanol-soluble fraction. From the ethyl acetate-soluble fraction, four known acetylenic compounds and 6'-O-acetyl ginsenoside-Rg1 were isolated. The structures of quinquenosides I, II, III, IV, and V were determined on the basis of chemical and physicochemical evidence as 3-O-[6-O-(E)-2-butenoyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1-->2)-beta-D- glucopyranosyl]-20-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl) 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (quinquenoside I), 3-O-[6-O-(E)-2-octenoyl-beta-D- glucopyranosyl(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl]-20-O-[beta-D-glucopyranosyl (1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl] 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (quinquenoside II), 3-O-[beta-D-glucopyranosyl (1-->2)-6-O-acetyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl]-20-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl) 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (quinquenoside III), 3-O-[beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl]-20-O-beta-D- glucopyranosyl(1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl]-3 beta, 7 beta, 20(S)-trihydroxydammar-5,24-diene (quinquenoside IV), and 3-O-[beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl]-20-O-[alpha-D- glucopyranosyl(1-->4)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl(1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl ] 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (quinquenoside V).
We evaluated antihyperglycemic and anti-obese effects of Panax ginseng berry extract and its major constituent, ginsenoside Re, in obese diabetic C57BL/6J ob/ ob mice and their lean littermates. Animals received daily intraperitoneal injections of Panax ginseng berry extract for 12 days. On day 12, 150 mg/kg extract-treated ob/ob mice became normoglycemic (137 +/- 6.7 mg/dl) and had significantly improved glucose tolerance. The overall glucose excursion during the 2-h intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test decreased by 46% (P < 0.01) compared with vehicle-treated ob/ob mice. The improvement in blood glucose levels in the extract-treated ob/ ob mice was associated with a significant reduction in serum insulin levels in fed and fasting mice. A hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp study revealed a more than twofold increase in the rate of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in treated ob/ ob mice (112 +/- 19.1 vs. 52 +/- 11.8 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1) for the vehicle group, P < 0.01). In addition, the extract-treated ob/ob mice lost a significant amount of weight (from 51.7 +/- 1.9 g on day 0 to 45.7 +/- 1.2 on day 12, P < 0.01 vs. vehicle-treated ob/ob mice), associated with a significant reduction in food intake (P < 0.05) and a very significant increase in energy expenditure (P < 0.01) and body temperature (P < 0.01). Treatment with the extract also significantly reduced plasma cholesterol levels in ob/ob mice. Additional studies demonstrated that ginsenoside Re plays a significant role in antihyperglycemic action. This antidiabetic effect of ginsenoside Re was not associated with body weight changes, suggesting that other constituents in the extract have distinct pharmacological mechanisms on energy metabolism.