Effects of ginsenoside Rb1 on central cholinergic metabolism.


Benishin CG, Lee R, Wang LC, Liu HJ






Ginsenosides, the saponins of ginseng, are bioactive ingredients which exert many beneficial effects. One ginsenoside, Rb1, extracted from North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium L.), partially prevents the memory deficits induced by a cholinergic agent (scopolamine) in rats. In vitro studies show that Rb1 has no effect on quinuclidinyl benzylate binding or on acetylcholinesterase activity, but facilitates the release of acetylcholine (ACh) from hippocampal slices. The increase in ACh release is associated with an increased uptake of choline into nerve endings; however, calcium influx is unaltered. The ability of Rb1 to prevent memory deficits may be related to facilitation of ACh metabolism in the central nervous system