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The Protective Effect of Korean Red Ginseng Against Rotenone-Induced Parkinson’s Disease in Rat Model: Modulation of Nuclear Factor-κβ and Caspase-3

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 7 ]


Mai A. Zaafan, Amr M. Abdelhamid and Sherine M. Ibrahim*   Pages 588 - 594 ( 7 )


Objective: Korean red ginseng was reported to have many biological effects like the antioxidant and the anti-inflammatory activities. Oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation play major roles in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The current study aimed to investigate the protective effects of ginseng on rotenone-induced PD in rats.

Methods: Rats were randomly allocated into 4 groups: normal rats, rotenone control, ginseng+rotenone and ginseng only treated rats. The severity of PD was evaluated through locomotor activity perceived in the open field test, histological examination and immunohistochemical detection of amyloid-β in brain tissues, in addition to the biochemical assessment of tyrosine hydroxylase activity in brain tissues. Moreover, the following parameters were investigated for studying the possible mechanisms of ginseng neuroprotective effect: nuclear factor-κβ (NF-κβ), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), caspase- 3, lipid peroxides and reduced glutathione (GSH).

Results: Ginseng exhibited potent neuroprotective effect that was reflected upon the histopathological examination, marked improvement in the locomotor activity and through its ability to suppress the amyloid- β deposition in the cortex and striatum along with significant increase in the tyrosine hydroxylase activity. Ginseng successfully inhibited the NF-κβ inflammatory pathway in brain tissues beside the inhibition of other oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators. Furthermore, it exhibited antiapoptotic effect via the inhibition of caspase-3 expression.

Conclusion: Ginseng could be a promising treatment in PD. It can suppress dopaminergic neuron degeneration through variable mechanisms mainly via inhibition of NF-κβ pathway in addition to inhibition of oxidative stress and apoptosis.


Ginseng, Parkinson's disease, anti-oxidant, nuclear factor-κβ, caspase-3, Rat model.


Pharmacology & Toxicology Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, MSA University, 6th of October, Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, MSA University, 6th of October, Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, MSA University, 6th of October

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