Ginsenoside Rg3: A Promising Therapeutic Agent for Traumatic Brain Injury

Ginsenoside Rg3: A Promising Therapeutic Agent for Traumatic Brain Injury



According to the 2017 Commission on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), TBI remains one of the top three causes of injury-related death and disability up to 2030. There are 50~60 million people suffering from TBI each year, with annual expenditure of about US$ 400 billion across the world. Among all common neurological disorders, TBI has the highest incidence and poses a substantial public health burden. Strikingly, ginsenoside Rg3, a critical active pharmaceutical component extracted from the traditional Chinese medicine ginseng, has been attested to be effective in reducing neuroinflammation and damage in hippocampal neurons of mice following TBI, showing great therapeutic potential in TBI.

About TBI

TBI primarily results from mechanical and sports-related injuries, leading to acute degenerative changes in the central nervous system. TBI patients are often accompanied with cognitive and motor deficits. Cognitive deficits arise from hippocampal neuron damage post-TBI, while motor deficits manifest as paresis, altered muscle tone, ataxia, and impaired coordination and balance after TBI.

The efficacy and safety of ginsenoside Rg3 in TBI mice

Ginsenoside Rg3 effectively enhances neurological and motor functions, reduces brain water content, and alleviates hippocampal neuronal neuroinflammation and damage in TBI mice. At doses of 1, 5, 10, and 20 µM, ginsenoside Rg3 is non-toxic to microglia. Notably, ginsenoside Rg3 at 20 µM shows the most prominent efficacy in TBI mice.

The underlying mechanism of ginsenoside Rg3 in alleviating TBI

The role of ginsenoside Rg3 in alleviating TBI may be realized by enhancing SIRT1 expression and inhibiting the NF-kB pathway. Specifically, ginsenoside Rg3 represses the key markers associated with the NF-kB pathway, as manifested by the reduced levels of p-IKBa, INOS, and nuclear P65 proteins in the hippocampus of TBI-afflicted mice.

Apart from these, treatment with NAM, a SIRT1 inhibitor, counteracts the beneficial effects of ginsenoside Rg3 on neurological and motor function recovery, as well as its mitigating effects on hippocampal neuronal damage and inflammation in TBI-afflicted mice, hinting the involvement of SIRT1 in the alleviation of TBI with ginsenoside Rg3.


Collectively, ginsenoside Rg3 (20 µM) markedly ameliorates neurological and motor functions while attenuating neuroinflammation and hippocampal neuronal damage by regulating the SIRT1/NF-kB pathway in TBI mice.


[1] Liu X, Gu J, Wang C, et al. Ginsenoside Rg3 attenuates neuroinflammation and hippocampal neuronal damage after traumatic brain injury in mice by inactivating the NF-kB pathway via SIRT1 activation. Cell Cycle. Published online May 25, 2024. doi:10.1080/15384101.2024.2355008
[2] Maas AIR, Menon DK, Manley GT, et al. Traumatic brain injury: progress and challenges in prevention, clinical care, and research. Lancet Neurol. 2022;21(11):1004-1060. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(22)00309-X

BONTAC Ginsenosides

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