Effect of Ginseng Saponins on beta-Amyloid-Suppressed Acetylcholine Release from Rat Hippocampal Slices
Lee Tf, Shiao YJ, Chen CF, Wang LC.
Department of Biological Sciences,
University of Alberta,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Planta Med 2001;67(7):634-7


In view of the fact that ginseng has been shown to improve age-related memory deficits and beta-amyloid-related peptides have been suggested to play a significant role in memory degeneration in the elderly, the present study was carried out to examine the effect of various ginsenosides on beta-amyloid peptides-modulated acetylcholine (ACh) release, a key neurotransmitter in memory processing, from the hippocampal slices. Addition of beta-amyloid fragment(25 - 35) (0.01 - 1 &mgr;M) in the superfusion medium suppressed the K(+)-evoked [(3)H]-ACh release from the rat hippocampal slices in a concentration-related manner and about 40 % reduction in ACh outflow was observed when incubating with the highest concentration of an amyloid fragment (1 &mgr;M). Inclusion of the ginsenoside components Rb(1) (0.1 &mgr;M), but not Rg(1), caused a rightward shift of the concentration-response curve of beta-amyloid. The reversal of the beta-amyloid-inhibited ACh release by Rb(1) was not blocked by tetrodotoxin (1 &mgr;M) indicating that an interaction occurs at the cholinergic synapse. These results suggest that Rb(1) may elicit its anti-amnesic effect by minimizing the inhibitory effect of beta-amyloid peptides.
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