Effect of Korea Red Ginseng Extract on PC12 Cell Death Induced by Serum Deprivation

홍삼 수용성 추출물이 PC12 세포사멸에 미치는 영향

  • Lee, Sang-Hyun (Hong-Ik Oriental Clinic) ;
  • Yun, Young-Gab (Dept. of Oriental Medical Prescription, College of Oriental Medicine, Won-Kwang University)
  • 이상현 (홍익한의원) ;
  • 윤용갑 (원광대학교 한의과대학 방제학교실)
  • Received : 2009.03.09
  • Accepted : 2009.04.08
  • Published : 2009.04.30


Objectives : This study was to evaluate the pharmacological effect of Korea Red Ginseng aqueous extract (KRGE) on serum-deprived apoptosis of neuronal-like pheochromocytoma PC12 cells and to investigate its underlying action mechanism. Methods : KRGE was prepared by extracting Korea Red Ginseng with hot water and concentrating using a vacuum evaporator. Cell viability was determined after incubation of cells with KRGE or chemical inhibitor in serum-deprived medium for 60 h by counting intact nuclei following lysing of the cell membrane. Caspase activities were measured using chromogenic substrates and signal-associated protein phosphorylation and cytochrome c release were determined by Western blot analyses using their specific antibodies. Results : Serum deprivation induced PC12 cell death, which was accompanied by typical morphological features of apoptotic cell, such as nuclear fragmentation, caspase-3 activation, and cytochrome c release. This apoptotic cell death was significantly inhibited by KRGE and caspase-3 inhibitor, but not by the addition of NMA, ODQ, and PD98059. KRGE promoted phosphorylation of Akt and Bad, and this phosphorylation was inhibited by the PI3K inhibitor LY92004. In addition, this inhibitor also reversed KRGE-mediated protection of PC 12 cells from serum deprivation. These results suggested that KRGE protects PC12 cells from serum deprivation-induced apoptosis through the activation of PI3K/Akt-dependent Bad phosphorylation and cytochrome c release, resulting in caspase-3 activation. Conclusions : KRGE should be considered as a potential therapeutic drug for brain diseases including stroke induced by apoptosis of neuronal cells.


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