Effects of Panax ginseng on glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) expression and spermatogenesis in rats

Phytother Res. 2011 Feb;25(2):308-11. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3239.


Panax ginseng (PG) is a medicinal herb which has been used to improve male reproduction in traditional Korean medicine. This study investigated the effect of PG on spermatogenesis and the regulation of glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), which has a crucial role in spermatogonial stem cell maintenance. PG was administered to 8-week-old male Wistar rats (1.0 g/kg/day, p.o.) for 56 consecutive days, the sperm formation period of the rat. Sperm analysis, RT-PCR and western blot assays were then carried out. The PG-treated group had significantly enhanced sperm counts, GDNF mRNA level and protein level. These results suggest that PG induces spermatogenesis and GDNF activation in rat testes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / drug effects
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Medicine, Korean Traditional
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spermatogenesis / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Gdnf protein, rat
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Testosterone