Effects of various Eleutherococcus senticosus cortex on swimming time, natural killer activity and corticosterone level in forced swimming stressed mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Dec;95(2-3):447-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2004.08.027.


The cortex of Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. has been used extensively in Russia, China, Korea and Japan as an adaptogen whose properties are the ability to increase as non-specific body resistance to stress and fatigue. Although it has been reported that Eleutherococcus senticosus has anti-fatigue and anti-stress actions, their actions are still unclear on the relationship between immune system, especially natural killer (NK) activity and endocrine system (corticosterone level). We compared the effects of the water extracts (A, B, C, D and E) of five Eleutherococcus senticosus cortex on the swimming time, NK activity and blood corticosterone level using forced swimming stressed mice. Among five kinds, C, D and E extracts significantly prolonged the swimming time. C and D extracts inhibited the reduction of NK activity and the corticosterone elevation induced by forced swimming. The contents of eleutheroside E, isoflaxidin and eleutherosides B plus E were in the order C > D > E > B > A and C > E > D > A > B extracts, respectively. Therefore, it is suggested that eleutheroside E may be contributed to the anti-fatigue action, the recovery of the reduction of NK activity and the inhibition of corticosterone elevation induced by swimming stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Corticosterone / blood*
  • Eleutherococcus*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Roots
  • Stress, Physiological / blood
  • Stress, Physiological / drug therapy*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Swimming / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Plant Extracts
  • Corticosterone