Molecular medicine reports

Effects of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer extract on the offspring of adult mice with maternal immune activation.

PMID 30132543


To understand maternal immune activation (MIA) during prenatal development, the synthetic double‑stranded RNA polyriboinosinic‑polyribocytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] has been widely used in animal models to induce behavioral deficits similar to those in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer (PG) extract is widely used to treat various kinds of nervous system disorders in Asia particularly China and Korea. The present study aimed to examine the effects of PG extract on MIA offspring using behavioral activity tests and protein expression analyses. Pregnant mice were exposed to poly(I:C) (5 mg/kg) or vehicle treatment on gestation day 9, and the resulting MIA offspring were subjected to vehicle or PG (300 mg/kg) treatment. In the acoustic startle response test, MIA‑induced sensorimotor gating deficit was ameliorated by PG. The majority of behavioral parameters measured in the social interaction (non‑aggressive or/and aggressive pattern), open field (number/duration of behavior) and forced swimming test (immobility behavior) were significantly altered in the MIA offspring. Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses of the medial prefrontal cortex indicated that the expression levels of certain neurodevelopmental proteins, including dihydropyrimidinase‑related 2, LIM and SH3 domain 1, neurofilament medium, and discs large homolog 4, were decreased in the untreated MIA offspring, whereas PG treatment improved behavioral impairments and increased neurodevelopmental protein expression in MIA offspring. These results suggested that PG may be useful in neurodevelopmental disorder therapy, including psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, owing to its antipsychotic effects.