National Science Foundation of China grant (2017) has been awarded to Dr. Shiqing Zhang

Studies of Ginseng and Its Active Ingredients Promoting the Proliferation and Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells in the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease Based on GSK-3β Pathway (PI: Dr. Shiqing Zhang)

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of major diseases that impact on health. Neuronal injury and unable to repair itself is a major cause that lead to AD. The ginseng, one of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), achieved positive effect on AD by the guide of TCM theory “An Shen”, however, the mechanism is currently unknown. Based on the pharmacological research of ginseng and our preliminary findings, we hypothesize that the mechanism of ginseng and its active ingredients in the treatment of AD may be related to the activation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway to promote the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in the brain to replace the damaged neurons. The inhibition of GSK-3β activity may be the target of ginseng and its active ingredients promote the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells. In this study, we used RNA interference, lentivirus, confocal, histopathological staining, Western-Blot, qPCR and other techniques, as well as the patented technology of rat autologous neural stem cell extraction. We want to determine the effect of ginseng and its active ingredients on the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in the brain for the treatment of AD animals by overexpress the expression of GSK-3β in autologous neural stem cell, provided a new method for future in vivo brain nerve research. Our study is helpful to decipher the mechanism of ginseng and its active ingredients promoting proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells by inhibiting the activation of GSK-3β pathway to treat AD, clear the inherent mechanism of the ginseng theory “An Shen” and provide scientific evidences for its clinical application.

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