Journal of ethnopharmacology

Neuroprotection or neurotoxicity? new insights into the effects of Acanthopanax senticosus harms on nervous system through cerebral metabolomics analysis.

PMID 25223591


Acanthopanax senticosus harms (AS), also called "Ciwujia" in Chinese and "Siberian ginseng" in the Siberian Taiga region, is the herb used in traditional medicinal systems in China and Russia, which has been applied to the treatment of various nervous and cerebrovascular diseases, such as depression, mental fatigue, and transient global cerebral ischemia. The previous research works usually tended to focus on the neuroprotective effects of AS, but ignored its additional effects that are not entirely beneficial to the nervous system. Therefore, to discover the potential intervention targets of AS and evaluate their roles in the nervous system are the urgent problems. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF-MS) coupled with pattern recognition methods were integrated to investigate the metabolic profiles of AS-treated rats. The analysis of possible pathways influenced by AS was performed by ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) with MetPA. Treated with AS, 16 modulated metabolites were identified and considered as the potential intervention targets of AS, out of which 3 metabolites had protective effects on the nervous system, whereas 7 metabolites showed the neurotoxicity. These results may reveal that the effects of AS on nervous system had two sides, and it could not only exert the neuroprotection but also produce some potential neurotoxicity.

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