Purpose: To investigate the effects of polysaccharide from Gynostemma pentaphyllum on antioxidant activity in skeletal muscle of mice exercised to exhaustion.
Methods: Three polysaccharide fractions were obtained from G. pentaphyllum polysaccharide (GPP) and termed GPP1-a, GPP2-b, and GPP3-a. Gas chromatography (GC) and infrared spectrum of the polysaccharides were determined. The fractions were orally administrated to mice once daily for 1 wk. The exercise time to exhaustion was assessed using a forced swim test of mice after a week. The glucose, creatine phosphokinase, and lactic dehydrogenase in serum; the activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase; and the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glycogen in muscle were determined.
Results: The results of GC demonstrated that GPP1-a, GPP2-b, and GPP3-a were composed of different monosaccharides with distinct molar ratios. Infrared spectrum showed that the main typicals of GPP1-a and GPP2-b were β-configuration and the main typical of GPP3-a was α-configuration. Among the 3 fractions of GPP, GPP1-a administration significantly prolonged exercise time to exhaustion of mice, increased glycogen level and some of antioxidant enzyme activities, and decreased MDA level in muscle.
Conclusions: The mechanism by which GPP1-a prolonged exercise time to exhaustion in mice may be associated with scavenging reactive oxygen species excessively produced and further increasing glycogen levels in skeletal muscle.