Long-term ginsenoside Rg1 supplementation improves age-related cognitive decline by promoting synaptic plasticity associated protein expression in C57BL/6J mice

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2014 Mar;69(3):282-94. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glt091. Epub 2013 Jul 5.


In aging individuals, age-related cognitive decline is the most common cause of memory impairment. Among the remedies, ginsenoside Rg1, a major active component of ginseng, is often recommended for its antiaging effects. However, its role in improving cognitive decline during normal aging remains unknown and its molecular mechanism partially understood. This study employed a scheme of Rg1 supplementation for female C57BL/6J mice, which started at the age of 12 months and ended at 24 months, to investigate the effects of Rg1 supplementation on the cognitive performance. We found that Rg1 supplementation improved the performance of aged mice in behavior test and significantly upregulated the expression of synaptic plasticity-associated proteins in hippocampus, including synaptophysin, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit 1, postsynaptic density-95, and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha, via promoting mammalian target of rapamycin pathway activation. These data provide further support for Rg1 treatment of cognitive degeneration during aging.

Keywords: Aging; Cognition; Ginsenoside; Synapse; mTOR..

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disks Large Homolog 4 Protein
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Ginsenosides / therapeutic use*
  • Guanylate Kinases / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / drug effects
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Membrane Proteins / drug effects
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Neuronal Plasticity / drug effects*
  • Panax*
  • Random Allocation
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / drug effects
  • Spatial Behavior / drug effects
  • Synapses / drug effects*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Synaptophysin / drug effects
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / drug effects


  • Central Nervous System Agents
  • Disks Large Homolog 4 Protein
  • Dlg4 protein, mouse
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Ginsenosides
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Synaptophysin
  • Syp protein, mouse
  • mTOR protein, mouse
  • CASK kinases
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Guanylate Kinases
  • ginsenoside Rg1