We examined how the ginseng extract (GE) acts on the antinociceptive effect induced by footshock (FS)-, psychological (PSY)- and forced swimming (SW)-stress (stress-induced analgesia, SIA), and also on the suppression by FS- and PSY-stress of the development of tolerance to morphine in mice. Neither an acute treatment nor 5 daily pretreatments with GE at 100 mg/kg, p.o. affected each SIA. Pretreatment with GE at 100 mg/kg, p.o. for 5 days followed by the treatment in combination with the exposure to stresses for another 5 days caused no appreciable changes in the development of tolerance to FS and SW-SIA, but suppressed the development of tolerance to PSY-SIA. When mice were pretreated with GE for 5 days and given GE daily prior to morphine at 10 mg/kg/day, with stress exposure for another 5 days, the inhibitory effect of FS-stress on the development of tolerance to morphine was completely eliminated. The present results suggest that GE, by improving the general metabolism in the body, directs toward normalization of the adaptability which is impaired by stress exposure, while not compromising morphine antinociceptive activity or the SIA, another adaptability produced in confrontation to abnormal environmental stimuli. In addition, the differences in the mechanism underlying the FS- and PSY-stress effect which we have previously demonstrated are also reconfirmed.
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