The effective mechanism of the polysaccharides from Panax ginseng on chronic fatigue syndrome

Arch Pharm Res. 2014 Apr;37(4):530-8. doi: 10.1007/s12272-013-0235-y. Epub 2013 Aug 21.


Ginseng acidic polysaccharide WGPA isolated from the root of Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer was fractionated into WGPA-A and WGPA-N by anion-exchange chromatography. The antifatigue activity of ginseng acidic polysaccharide WGPA has been reported in our previous research. This present study was designed to identify its active component and elucidate the mechanism for preventing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). WGPA, WGPA-A and WGPA-N were orally administered to mice once daily for 15 days. The effects of these compounds on physiological biomarkers of oxidative stress and on the morphology of the mitochondria in striated skeletal muscle were assessed. The results of forced swimming test-induced indicated that WGPA and WGPA-A could lengthen the swimming time, while WGPA-N could not. In addition, malondialdehyde and lactate dehydrogenase levels in serum were enhanced; while those of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were lowered. Interestingly, the structural degeneration of mitochondria were all ameliorated. These findings suggested that WGPA-A is the active component of WGPA, it might have potential therapeutic effects for CFS and the oxidative stress might be involved in the pathogenesis. Our results also provided essential data for a better understanding of the antifatigue effects of P. ginseng extracts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fatigue / blood
  • Fatigue / drug therapy
  • Fatigue / metabolism
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / blood
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Muscle, Striated / drug effects
  • Muscle, Striated / metabolism
  • Muscle, Striated / ultrastructure
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Swimming


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Malondialdehyde
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase