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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 817096, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/817096
Research Article

Panax ginseng Improves Functional Recovery after Contusive Spinal Cord Injury by Regulating the Inflammatory Response in Rats: An In Vivo Study

1Department of Medicinal Crop Research, Rural Development Administration, Eumseong, Chungbuk 369-873, Republic of Korea
2Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705, Republic of Korea
3Rehabilitation Science Program, Department of Health Science, Korea University Graduate School, Seoul 136-701, Republic of Korea
4National Rehabilitation Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea
5College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
6Department of Oriental Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-091, Republic of Korea
7Department of Botany and Microbiology, Addiriyah Chair for Environmental Studies, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
8Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Republic of Korea

Received 30 May 2015; Accepted 28 July 2015

Academic Editor: Andreas Sandner-Kiesling

Copyright © 2015 Young Ock Kim 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.

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in permanent loss of motor function below the injured site. Neuroinflammatory reaction following SCI can aggravate neural injury and functional impairment. Ginseng is well known to possess anti-inflammatory effects. The present study investigated the neuroprotective effects of Panax ginseng C.A. Mayer (P. ginseng) after SCI. A spinal contusion was made at the T11-12 spinal cord in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats () using the NYU impactor. Motor function was assessed using the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) score in P. ginseng (0.1, 0.5, 1, 3, and 5 mg/kg) or vehicle (saline) treated after SCI. We also assessed the protein expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) at the lesion site by western blot and then measured the cavity area using luxol fast blue/cresyl violet staining. P. ginseng treated group in SCI showed a significant improvement in locomotor function after the injury. The protein expression of COX-2 and iNOS at the lesion site and the cavity area were decreased following SCI by P. ginseng treatment. These results suggest that P. ginseng may improve the recovery of motor function after SCI which provides neuroprotection by alleviating posttraumatic inflammatory responses.