Total Ginsenoside Extract from Panax ginseng Enhances Neural Stem Cell Proliferation and Neuronal Differentiation by Inactivating GSK-3β

Kaili LIN, Ji Zhang, Hau-lam Chung, Xin-yi Wu, Bin Liu, Bo-xin Zhao, Cho Wing SZE, Pingzheng Zhou, Kin Lam YUNG, Shiqing ZHANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To study the effects of total ginsenosides (TG) extract from Panax ginseng on neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation and differentiation and their underlying mechanisms. Methods: The migration of NSCs after treatment with various concentrations of TG extract (50, 100, or 200 µ g/mL) were monitored. The proliferation of NSCs was examined by a combination of cell counting kit-8 and neurosphere assays. NSC differentiation mediated by TG extract was evaluated by Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining to monitor the expression of nestin and microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2). The GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway in TG-treated NSCs was examined by Western blot assay. The NSCs with constitutively active GSK-3β mutant were made by adenovirus-mediated gene transfection, then the proliferation and differentiation of NSCs mediated by TG were further verified. Results: TG treatment significantly enhanced NSC migration (P<0.01 or P<0.05) and increased the proliferation of NSCs (P<0.01 or P<0.05). TG mediation also significantly upregulated MAP2 expression but downregulated nestin expression (P<0.01 or P<0.05). TG extract also significantly induced GSK-3β phosphorylation at Ser9, leading to GSK-3β inactivation and, consequently, the activation of the GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway (P<0.01 or P<0.05). In addition, constitutive activation of GSK-3β in NSCs by the transfection of GSK-3β S9A mutant was found to significantly suppress TG-mediated NSC proliferation and differentiation (P<0.01 or P<0.05). Conclusion: TG promoted NSC proliferation and neuronal differentiation by inactivating GSK-3β.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalChinese Journal of Integrative Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • GSK-3β
  • neural stem cell
  • proliferation
  • ginsenoside
  • neuronal differentiation


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