2003 Volume 26 Issue 12 Pages 1668-1673
Ginseng radix, the root of Panax ginseng C. A. MEYER (Araliaceae), is one of the best-known Oriental medicinal herbs with numerous therapeutic applications. To investigate whether Ginseng radix possesses a protective effect against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MPP+)-induced cytotoxicity in neuronal cells, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, flow cytometry, DNA fragmentation assay, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blotting, and caspase-3 enzyme assay were performed on PC12 neuronal cells. Cells treated with MPP+ exhibited various apoptotic features, while cell pretreated with Ginseng radix prior to MPP+ exposure showed a decrease in the occurrence of apoptotic features. These results suggest that Ginseng radix may exert a protective effect against MPP+-induced apoptosis in PC12 cells.