Background: Chong-Myung-Tang (CMT) extract is widely used in Korea as a traditional herbal tonic for increasing memory capacity in high-school students and also for numerous body ailments since centuries. The use of CMT to improve the learning capacity has been attributed to various plant constituents, especially black ginseng, in it. Therefore, in this study, we have first investigated whether black ginseng-enriched CMT extracts affected spatial learning using the Morris water maze (MWM) test. Their molecular mechanism of action underlying improvement of learning and memory was examined in vitro. Methods: We used two types of black ginseng-enriched CMT extracts, designated as CM-1 and CM-2, and evaluated their efficacy in the MWM test for spatial learning behavior and their anti-inflammatory effects in BV2 microglial cells. Results: Our results show that both black ginseng-enriched CMT extracts improved the learning behavior in scopolamine-induced impairment in the water maze test. Moreover, these extracts also inhibited nitric oxide production in BV2 cells, with significant suppression of expression of proinflammatory cytokines, especially inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2, and interleukin-1b. The protein expression of mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-kB pathway factors was also diminished by black ginseng-enriched CMT extracts, indicating that it not only improves the memory impairment, but also acts a potent anti-inflammatory agent for neuroinflammatory diseases. Conclusion: Our research for the first time provides the scientific evidence that consumption of black ginseng-enriched CMT extract as a brain tonic improves memory impairment. Thus, our study results can be taken as a reference for future neurobehavioral studies.
E., S., D.-H., J., S.-S., R., S.-H., K., S.-D., K., H.-K., K., … Rhee, M.-H. (2017). Black ginseng-enriched chong-myung-tang extracts improve spatial learning behavior in rats and elicit anti-inflammatory effects in Vitro. Journal of Ginseng Research, 41(2), 151–158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgr.2016.02.004