2008 Volume 31 Issue 7 Pages 1392-1396
Considering the importance of inflammation and apoptosis in neurodegenerative conditions, the potential suppressive effects of the Rg3, a by-product obtained during the steaming of red ginseng, may indicate that Rg3 could provide a beneficial therapeutic approach to treating or preventing neurodegenerative disease. We investigated the effect of Rg3 on Aβ42-mediated microglial activation and inflammation-mediated neurotoxicity in murine BV-2 microglial and Neuro-2a neuroblastoma cells, respectively. Rg3 effectively reduced inflammatory cytokine expression in Aβ42-treated BV-2, and inhibited the binding of NF-κB p65 to its DNA consensus sequences, and significantly reduced the expression of TNF-α in activated microglia. Pretreatment with Rg3 increased the survival rate of Neuro-2a exposed to TNF-α. These observations suggest that Rg3 reduced neurotoxicity by inhibiting chronic inflammation through the suppression of activated microglia. In addition, the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in BV-2 stimulated by Aβ42 was decreased but not eliminated by Rg3 when binding to the macrophage scavenger receptor type A (MSRA) was blocked with fucoidan. This implies that the inflammatory response may not be exclusively triggered via MSRA. More interestingly, iNOS was almost completely inhibited in the presence of Rg3 when MSRA binding was blocked with fucoidan. Moreover, Rg3 increased the expression of MSRA in BV-2 transfected with siRNA targeting MSRA mRNA, and this increased MSRA expression may play a role in the phagocytosis of Aβ42 peptides. Our results indicate that inhibition of the inflammatory repertoire of microglia, neuroprotection, and increased MSRA expression induced by Rg3 may at least partly explain its therapeutic effects in chronic neurodegenerative diseases.