Wild ginseng attenuates anxiety- and depression-like behaviors during morphine withdrawal

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Oct;21(10):1088-96. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1106.06027.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether wild ginseng (WG) administration could attenuate anxiety- and depression-like behaviors and expression of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) following withdrawal from repeated morphine administration in rats. Male rats were administered daily doses of WG (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg, i.p.) for 5 days, 30 min before morphine injection (40 mg/kg, s.c). The anxiety- and depression-like behavioral responses were measured 72 h after the last morphine injection using an elevated plus maze (EPM) and forced swimming test (FST), respectively. Changes in hypothalamic CRF and NPY expressions were also examined by analyzing their immunoreactivities in the hypothalamus. Daily administration of WG significantly reduced anxiety-and depression-like behavior, and elicited the suppression of CRF expression and the stimulation of NPY expression in the hypothalamus. Our results demonstrated that WG extract might be effective at inhibiting the anxiety and depression responses due to morphine withdrawal by possibly modulating the hypothalamus CRF and NPY systems. Furthermore, these findings imply that WG extract can be used for developing new medication to cure or alleviate morphine withdrawal symptoms and to prevent relapses of morphine use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / drug therapy*
  • Anxiety / metabolism
  • Anxiety / physiopathology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / metabolism
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Morphine / adverse effects*
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / metabolism
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Swimming


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Plant Extracts
  • Morphine
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone