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Korean red ginseng excitation of paraventricular nucleus neurons via non-NMDA glutamate receptor activation in mice
Yiming Shen1, 2, Janardhan P Bhattarai1, Soo Joung Park1, Gyu Seung Lee3, Pan Dong Ryu2,*, Seong Kyu Han1.*
1Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry and Institute of Oral Bioscience, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, 54896, Republic of Korea
2Department of Pharmacology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826, Republic of Korea
3Dong-gu Health Promotion Center 301-01, 30 Bogeunso Avenue, Samseung-Dong Dong-Gu, Daejeon, South Korea, 34563
Correspondence to: Tel: -82-63-270-4030, Fax: -82-63-270-4030; E-mail: skhan@jbnu.ac.kr (SK Han), pdryu@snu.ac.kr (PD Ryu)
Received: June 23, 2017; Revised: August 23, 2017; Accepted: October 26, 2017; Published online: November 23, 2017.
It has been reported that Korean red ginseng (KRG) as a valuable and important traditional medicine has various effects on central nervous system suggesting its complicated actions. Paraventricular nucleus (PVN) neurons of hypothalamus play a critical role for stress responses and hormone secretions. Although many studies have reported the action mechanisms of KRG on various cell and systems, the direct membrane effects of KRG on the PVN neurons which are involved in stress response are still poorly understood. The direct membrane effects of KRG on PVN neuronal activities were investigated using perforated patch clamp with ICR mice. In gramicidin perforated mode, KRG extract (KRGE) induced repeatable depolarization followed by hyperpolarization on PVN neurons tested. The KRGE-induced responses were not only concentration dependent but also persisted in the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX), a voltage sensitive Na+ channel blocker. The KRGE-induced responses were suppressed by 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX, 10 µM), a non-NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist, but not by picrotoxin (PIC), a GABAA receptor antagonist. These results indicate that KRG activates non-NMDA glutamate receptors of PVN neurons in mice and suggest that KRG may be a candidate for regulation of stress responses by controlling autonomic nervous system and hormone secretion.
Keywords: Korean red ginseng, paraventricular nucleus neurons, patch clamp technique

© 2017 The Korean Society of Veterinary Science.