Korean J Phys Anthropol.  2003 Dec;16(4):267-277.

Attenuated Ceramide-induced Neuronal Apoptosis by Acanthopanax senticous

  • 1Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea. whitefox@cau.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.


Both Acanthopanax senticosus and Acorus gramineus Soland are typical Oriental herbs. They have been used as a tonic, anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, anti-cancer agent. But, it is still unclear how they effectively regulate their various biological properties. Ceramide is emerging as a second messenger of apoptotic cell death and there is increasing evidence that ceramide is involved in neurodegenerative disease and the process of senescence. The present study investigated the different effects of A. senticosus and A. gramineus on ceramide-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells. We showed that ceramide induced apoptosis through the mediation of reactive oxygen species(ROS) production and A. senticosus, as an effective antioxidant, significantly inhibited the increase of ROS generation, thereby preventing apoptosis. Furthermore, an increase of caspase activity (apoptosis executors) resulted from ceramide reduced by A. senticosus. But A. gramineus had almost no protective effects. These results implicate that ROS play on important roles in ceramide-induced apoptosis, also A. senticosus protects effectively via inhibition of ROS generation by ceramide through selective pathway.


A. senticosus; A. gramineus; Ceramide; SK-N-SH; Apoptosis; Oxidative stress; Caspase
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