We carried out this study to investigate the effect of ginsenoside Rg1 on the extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen activated protein kinase (ERK/MAPK) pathway for understanding its effect on synaptic platicity.
Western blotting and immunostaining were used to examine the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, CaMKIIα and cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) in PC12 cells and synaptosomes. The confocal microscopy and fluorescent indicator Fluo-3 was applied to observe the intracellular calcium ion flux.
The phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in PC12 cells and synaptosomes incubated with Rg1 was increased and reached maximum at 4 min. Rg1 also promoted the transient enhancement of upstream calcium ion and activated CaMKIIα, which reached maximum at 2 min. CREB, the downstream protein, was phosphorylated within 8 min in PC12 cells after being incubated with Rg1. Moreover, KN93 partially inhibited the activation of ERK1/2, and PD98059 also partially blocked the phosphorylation of CREB.
Rg1 activated ERK/MAPK pathway by CaMKIIα, and the activation of CREB was not only dependent on ERK induced by Rg1, which may provide an explanation for the effect of Rg1 on long-term potentiation.
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Project supported by Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (No 20070023075).
About this article
Emerging signals modulating potential of ginseng and its active compounds focusing on neurodegenerative diseases
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