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      Panax ginseng exerts antidepressant-like effects by suppressing neuroinflammatory response and upregulating nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 signaling in the amygdala


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          Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed neuropsychiatric diseases, but the underlying mechanism and medicine are not well-known. Although Panax ginseng has been reported to exert protective effects in various neurological studies, little information is available regarding its antidepressant effects.


          Here, we examined the antidepressant effect and underlying mechanism of P. ginseng extract (PGE) in a chronic restraint stress (CRS)-induced depression model in mice.


          Oral administration of PGE for 14 d decreased immobility (depression-like behaviors) time in forced swim and tail suspended tests after CRS induction, which corresponded with attenuation of the levels of serum adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone, as well as attenuated c-Fos expression in the amygdala. PGE enhanced messenger RNA expression level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor but ameliorated microglial activation and neuroinflammation (the level of messenger RNA and protein expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase) in the amygdala of mice after CRS induction. Interestingly, 14-d treatment with celecoxib, a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, and N ω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride, a selective inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, attenuated depression-like behaviors after CRS induction. Additionally, PGE inhibited the upregulation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 and heme oxygenase-1 pathways.


          Taken together, our findings suggest that PGE exerts antidepressant-like effect of CRS-induced depression by antineuroinflammatory and antioxidant (nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2/heme oxygenase-1 activation) activities by inhibiting the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis mechanism. Further studies are needed to evaluate the potential of components of P. ginseng as an alternative treatment of depression, including clinical trial evaluation.

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          A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research.

          The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke convened major stakeholders in June 2012 to discuss how to improve the methodological reporting of animal studies in grant applications and publications. The main workshop recommendation is that at a minimum studies should report on sample-size estimation, whether and how animals were randomized, whether investigators were blind to the treatment, and the handling of data. We recognize that achieving a meaningful improvement in the quality of reporting will require a concerted effort by investigators, reviewers, funding agencies and journal editors. Requiring better reporting of animal studies will raise awareness of the importance of rigorous study design to accelerate scientific progress.
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            Effect of anti-inflammatory treatment on depression, depressive symptoms, and adverse effects: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

            Several studies have reported antidepressant effects of anti-inflammatory treatment; however, the results have been conflicting and detrimental adverse effects may contraindicate the use of anti-inflammatory agents. To systematically review the antidepressant and possible adverse effects of anti-inflammatory interventions. Trials published prior to December, 31, 2013, were identified searching Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, EMBASE, PsychINFO, Clinicaltrials.gov, and relevant review articles. Randomized placebo-controlled trials assessing the efficacy and adverse effects of pharmacologic anti-inflammatory treatment in adults with depressive symptoms, including those who fulfilled the criteria for depression. Data were extracted by 2 independent reviewers. Pooled standard mean difference (SMD) and odds ratios (ORs) were calculated. Depression scores after treatment and adverse effects. Ten publications reporting on 14 trials (6262 participants) were included: 10 trials evaluated the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (n=4,258) and 4 investigated cytokine inhibitors (n=2,004). The pooled effect estimate suggested that anti-inflammatory treatment reduced depressive symptoms (SMD, -0.34; 95% CI, -0.57 to -0.11; I2=90%) compared with placebo. This effect was observed in studies including patients with depression (SMD, -0.54; 95% CI, -1.08 to -0.01; I2=68%) and depressive symptoms (SMD, -0.27; 95% CI, -0.53 to -0.01; I2=68%). The heterogeneity of the studies was not explained by differences in inclusion of clinical depression vs depressive symptoms or use of NSAIDs vs cytokine inhibitors. Subanalyses emphasized the antidepressant properties of the selective cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor celecoxib (SMD, -0.29; 95% CI, -0.49 to -0.08; I2=73%) on remission (OR, 7.89; 95% CI, 2.94 to 21.17; I2=0%) and response (OR, 6.59; 95% CI, 2.24 to 19.42; I2=0%). Among the 6 studies reporting on adverse effects, we found no evidence of an increased number of gastrointestinal or cardiovascular events after 6 weeks or infections after 12 weeks of anti-inflammatory treatment compared with placebo. All trials were associated with a high risk of bias owing to potentially compromised internal validity. Our analysis suggests that anti-inflammatory treatment, in particular celecoxib, decreases depressive symptoms without increased risks of adverse effects. However, a high risk of bias and high heterogeneity made the mean estimate uncertain. This study supports a proof-of-concept concerning the use of anti-inflammatory treatment in depression. Identification of subgroups that could benefit from such treatment might be warranted.
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              Dynamic microglial alterations underlie stress-induced depressive-like behavior and suppressed neurogenesis.

              The limited success in understanding the pathophysiology of major depression may result from excessive focus on the dysfunctioning of neurons, as compared with other types of brain cells. Therefore, we examined the role of dynamic alterations in microglia activation status in the development of chronic unpredictable stress (CUS)-induced depressive-like condition in rodents. We report that following an initial period (2-3 days) of stress-induced microglial proliferation and activation, some microglia underwent apoptosis, leading to reductions in their numbers within the hippocampus, but not in other brain regions, following 5 weeks of CUS exposure. At that time, microglia displayed reduced expression of activation markers as well as dystrophic morphology. Blockade of the initial stress-induced microglial activation by minocycline or by transgenic interleukin-1 receptor antagonist overexpression rescued the subsequent microglial apoptosis and decline, as well as the CUS-induced depressive-like behavior and suppressed neurogenesis. Similarly, the antidepressant drug imipramine blocked the initial stress-induced microglial activation as well as the CUS-induced microglial decline and depressive-like behavior. Treatment of CUS-exposed mice with either endotoxin, macrophage colony-stimulating factor or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, all of which stimulated hippocampal microglial proliferation, partially or completely reversed the depressive-like behavior and dramatically increased hippocampal neurogenesis, whereas treatment with imipramine or minocycline had minimal or no anti-depressive effects, respectively, in these mice. These findings provide direct causal evidence that disturbances in microglial functioning has an etiological role in chronic stress-induced depression, suggesting that microglia stimulators could serve as fast-acting anti-depressants in some forms of depressive and stress-related conditions.

                Author and article information

                J Ginseng Res
                J Ginseng Res
                Journal of Ginseng Research
                29 April 2017
                January 2018
                29 April 2017
                : 42
                : 1
                : 107-115
                [1 ]Department of Science in Korean Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
                [2 ]Brain Korea 21 Plus Program, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
                [3 ]Department of Convergence Medical Science, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
                [4 ]Institute of Korean Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
                [5 ]Department of Clinical Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea
                [6 ]Department of Integrative Plant Science, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Republic of Korea
                [7 ]Department of Medicinal Crop Research Institute, National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration, Eumseong, Republic of Korea
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. Department of Convergence Medical Science, Brain Korea 21 Plus Program, and Institute of Korean Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.Department of Convergence Medical ScienceBrain Korea 21 Plus Program, and Institute of Korean MedicineCollege of Korean MedicineKyung Hee University26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-guSeoul02447Republic of Korea ihcho@ 123456khu.ac.kr
                © 2017 The Korean Society of Ginseng, Published by Elsevier Korea LLC.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                : 2 September 2016
                : 14 April 2017
                : 18 April 2017
                Review Article

                antineuroinflammation,chronic restraint stress,depression,nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2,panax ginseng


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