Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.530, No.4, 658-664, 2020
Ginsenoside Rk1 alleviates LPS-induced depression-like behavior in mice by promoting BDNF and suppressing the neuroinflammatory response
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)-alpha 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-kappa b/NF-kappa b and p-I kappa B-alpha/I kappa B-alpha 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 positive regulation of the BDNF-TrkB pathway. This study may help develop active ginsenoside-based compounds for neurodegenerative diseases. (c) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.