Neurochemical Research

, Volume 41, Issue 8, pp 1958–1968 | Cite as

Tanshinone I Enhances Neurogenesis in the Mouse Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus via Increasing Wnt-3, Phosphorylated Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3β and β-Catenin Immunoreactivities

  • Bai Hui Chen
  • Joon Ha Park
  • Jeong Hwi Cho
  • In Hye Kim
  • Jae Chul Lee
  • Tae-Kyeong Lee
  • Ji Hyeon Ahn
  • Hyun Jin Tae
  • Bich Na Shin
  • Jong-Dai Kim
  • Il Jun Kang
  • Moo-Ho Won
  • Yun Lyul Lee
Original Paper


Tanshinone I (TsI), a lipophilic diterpene extracted from Danshan (Radix Salvia miltiorrhizae), exerts neuroprotection in cerebrovascular diseases including transient ischemic attack. In this study, we examined effects of TsI on cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the mouse dentate gyrus (DG) using Ki-67, BrdU and doublecortin (DCX) immunohistochemistry. Mice were treated with 1 and 2 mg/kg TsI for 28 days. In the 1 mg/kg TsI-treated-group, distribution patterns of BrdU, Ki-67 and DCX positive (+) cells in the SGZ were similar to those in the vehicle-treated-group. However, in the 2 mg/kg TsI-treated-group, double labeled BrdU+/NeuN+ cells, which are mature neurons, as well as Ki-67+, DCX+ and BrdU+ cells were significantly increased compared with those in the vehicle-treated-group. On the other hand, immunoreactivities and protein levels of Wnt-3, β-catenin and serine-9-glycogen synthase kinase-3β (p-GSK-3β), which are related with morphogenesis, were significantly increased in the granule cell layer of the DG only in the 2 mg/kg TsI-treated-group. Therefore, these findings indicate that TsI can promote neurogenesis in the mouse DG and that the neurogenesis is related with increases of Wnt-3, p-GSK-3β and β-catenin immunoreactivities.


Tanshinone I Cell proliferation Neuroblast differentiation Neurogenesis Wnt-3 Phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase 3β β-Catenin 



The authors would like to thank Mr. Seung Uk Lee for his technical help in this study. This work was supported by the Bio-Synergy Research Project (NRF-2015M3A9C4076322) of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning through the National Research Foundation, and by Hallym University Research Fund, 2015 (HRF-201509-015).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights Statement

The procedures for animal handling and care adhered to guidelines that are in compliance with the current international laws and policies (Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, The National Academies Press, 8th Ed., 2011), and they were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at Kangwon National University (Approval No. KW-130424-1). All of the experiments were conducted to minimize the number of animals used and the suffering caused by the procedures used in the present study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bai Hui Chen
    • 1
  • Joon Ha Park
    • 2
  • Jeong Hwi Cho
    • 2
  • In Hye Kim
    • 2
  • Jae Chul Lee
    • 2
  • Tae-Kyeong Lee
    • 2
  • Ji Hyeon Ahn
    • 3
  • Hyun Jin Tae
    • 3
  • Bich Na Shin
    • 1
  • Jong-Dai Kim
    • 4
  • Il Jun Kang
    • 5
  • Moo-Ho Won
    • 2
  • Yun Lyul Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Institute of Neurodegeneration and Neuroregeneration, College of MedicineHallym UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Neurobiology, School of MedicineKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Science and Research Institute for Bioscience and BiotechnologyHallym UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  4. 4.Division of Food Biotechnology, School of BiotechnologyKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of Food Science and NutritionHallym UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea

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