Effect of ginsenosides, active components of ginseng, on capsaicin- induced pain-related behavior

J. J. Nah, J. H. Hahn, S. Chung, S. Choi, Y. I. Kim, S. Y. Nah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Our recent study demonstrated that ginsenosides had antinociceptive effects by reducing some types of pain-related behavior in mice (Yoon et al., 1998. Ginsenosides induce differential antinociception and inhibit substance P-induced nociceptive response in mice. Life Science 62, PL319-PL325). In the present study we further investigated whether ginsenosides produce antinociceptive effects through an action at central or peripheral site(s) and whether these effects are mediated by the opioid system. Intraperitoneally injected ginsenosides suppressed in a dose-dependent manner the pain-related behavior produced by capsaicin injection into the plantar surface of the hind paw; the ED50 was 49 mg/kg [26-92 mg/kg, 95% confidence interval (C.I.)]. Intrathecally or intracerebroventricularly administered ginsenosides also suppressed the capsaicin-induced pain-related behavior in a dose-dependent manner; the ED50s were 1.72 mg/kg (0.8-3.72 mg/kg, 95% C.I.) and 1.48 mg/kg (0.8-2.6 mg/kg, 95% C.I.), respectively. On the other hand, subcutaneously injected ginsenosides to the plantar surface prior to the capsaicin injection did not alter the pain-related behavior. Naloxone pretreatment was without effect in blocking the antinociceptive effect of intrathecally administered ginsenosides. Intraperitoneally injected ginsenosides also did not significantly affect the motor response of animals. These results suggest that ginsenosides produce antinociceptive effects through their action at the spinal and/or supraspinal site(s), not at nociceptors in the periphery. In addition, the results suggest that the antinociceptive effects are not mediated by opioid receptors. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2180-2184
Number of pages5
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is in part supported by the '98 Rural Development Administration, '97 Korea Ginseng and Tobacco Research, and the '98 Korean Society for Ginseng Research (to S.Y. Nah).


  • Antinociception
  • CNS
  • Capsaicin
  • Ginsenosides
  • Pain behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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