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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 767124, 8 pages
Research Article

American Ginseng Regulates Gene Expression to Protect against Premature Ovarian Failure in Rats

1Department of Pharmacology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, 24 Heping Road, Harbin 150040, China
2The Key Laboratory of State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of the People’s Republic of China, Department of Formulas of Traditional Chinese Medicine, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
3The Key Laboratory of Chinese Ministry of Education, Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, School of Pharmacology, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
4The Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia (Harbin Medical University) of Chinese Ministry of Education, Harbin 150086, China

Received 6 August 2014; Revised 30 November 2014; Accepted 1 December 2014

Academic Editor: Kota V. Ramana

Copyright © 2015 Lei Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Premature ovarian failure (POF) is defined as lost ovarian functions before the age of 40. Three possible molecular markers (PLA2G4A, miR-29a, and miR-144) have been identified in our previous study by integrated analysis of mRNA and miRNA expression profiles. The present study aimed to evaluate American ginseng root’s protective potential against POF by studying transcriptional and protein variations between American ginseng treatments and controls in rats. 4-Vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) was administered to rats for 14 days to induce POF. Additionally, American ginseng was administered to POF rats for one month, and PLA2G4A, miR-29a, and miR-144 expressions were measured in rat ovaries by qRT-PCR. PLA2G4A protein expression was examined by Western Blot, and PGE2, LH, FSH, and E2 serum levels were detected by ELISA. PLA2G4A mRNA and protein were downregulated in American ginseng-treated rats, miR-29a and miR-144 levels increased, and PGE2 serum levels decreased, while LH, FSH, and E2 increased compared to POF induction alone. Analysis of transcriptional and protein variations suggested that American ginseng protects the ovary against POF by regulating prostaglandin biosynthesis, ovulation, and preventing ovarian aging. High hormone levels (PGE2, FSH, and LH) were reduced, and E2 secretion approached normal levels, leading to improved POF symptoms and abnormal ovulation.