Gintonin attenuates depressive-like behaviors associated with alcohol withdrawal in mice

Gintonin attenuates depressive-like behaviors associated with alcohol withdrawal in mice
Alcohol withdrawal; Depression; Gintonin; Panax ginseng; Serotonin
Issue Date
Journal of affective disorders
VOL 215-29
Background: Panax ginseng Meyer extracts have been used to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. However, little is known about the extracts' active ingredients and the molecular mechanisms underlying their reported anti-depressive effects. Methods: Gintonin is an exogenous lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor ligand isolated from P. ginseng. BON cells, an enterochrpmaffin cell line, and C57BL/6 mice were used to investigate whether gintonin stimulates serotonin release. Furthermore, the effects of gintonin on depressive-like behaviors following alcohol withdrawal were evaluated using the forced swim and tail suspension tests. Results: Treatment of BON cells with gintonin induced a transient increase in the intracellular calcium concentration and serotonin release in a concentration- and time-dependent manner via the LPA receptor signaling pathway. Oral administration of the gintonin-enriched fraction (GEF) induced an increase in the plasma serotonin concentration in the mice. Oral administration of the GEF in mice with alcohol withdrawal decreased the immobility time in two depression-like behavioral tests and restored the alcohol withdrawal induced serotonin decrease in plasma levels. Limitations: We cannot exclude the possibility that the gintonin-mediated regulation of adrenal catecholamine release in the peripheral system, and acetylcholine and glutamate release in the central nervous system, could also contribute to the alleviation of depressive-like behaviors. Conclusion: The GEF-mediated attenuation of depressive-like behavior induced by alcohol withdrawal may be mediated by serotonin release from intestinal enterochromaffin cells. Therefore, the GEF might be responsible for the ginseng extract-induced alleviation of depression-related symptoms.
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