6-Shogaol, an active compound of ginger, protects dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease models via anti-neuroinflammation

Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2013 Sep;34(9):1131-9. doi: 10.1038/aps.2013.57. Epub 2013 Jul 1.


Aim: 6-Shogaol [1-(4-hydroxy-methoxyphenyl)-4-decen-one], a pungent compound isolated from ginger, has shown various neurobiological and anti-inflammatory effects. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of 6-shogaol on neuroinflammatory-induced damage of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD) models.

Methods: Cultured rat mesencephalic cells were treated with 6-shogaol (0.001 and 0.01 μmol/L) for 1 h, then with MPP(+)(10 μmol/L) for another 23 h. The levels of TNF-α and NO in medium were analyzed spectrophotometrically. C57/BL mice were administered 6-shogaol (10 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) for 3 d, and then MPTP (30 mg/kg, ip) for 5 d. Seven days after the last MPTP injection, behavioral testings were performed. The levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and macrophage antigen (MAC)-1 were determined with immunohistochemistry. The expression of iNOS and COX-2 was measured using RT PCR.

Results: In MPP(+)-treated rat mesencephalic cultures, 6-shogaol significantly increased the number of TH-IR neurons and suppressed TNF-α and NO levels. In C57/BL mice, treatment with 6-shogaol reversed MPTP-induced changes in motor coordination and bradykinesia. Furthermore, 6-shogaol reversed MPTP-induced reductions in TH-positive cell number in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and TH-IR fiber intensity in stratum (ST). Moreover, 6-shogaol significantly inhibited the MPTP-induced microglial activation and increases in the levels of TNF-α, NO, iNOS, and COX-2 in both SNpc and ST.

Conclusion: 6-Shogaol exerts neuroprotective effects on DA neurons in in vitro and in vivo PD models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catechols / pharmacology
  • Catechols / therapeutic use*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dopaminergic Neurons / drug effects*
  • Dopaminergic Neurons / pathology
  • Female
  • Ginger*
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / drug effects
  • Mesencephalon / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / pathology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Catechols
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • shogaol