Background & Objective: Notoginsenoside R1 (NGR1) is one of the main effective components
of Panax notoginseng.
Method: Primary cortical neurons were harvested from neonatal rats and cultured to analyze the role
of NGR1 in neuronal growth and the effects of NGR1 on the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Following
treatment with NGR1, immunocytochemistry was used to detect expression of Tuj1 and
MAP2, and RT-qPCR was used to measure mRNA levels of key factors in the Wnt signaling pathway.
Results: Results showed that NGR1 promotes growth of cultured neurons and significantly upregulates
mRNA levels of β-catenin, Dishevelled, and Frizzled. To further confirm whether NGR1
promoted cortical neuron growth via the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, we knocked down β-
catenin mRNA by siRNA interference; following NGR1 treatment of β-catenin-knockdown neurons,
β-catenin mRNA levels increased significantly.
Conclusion: In conclusion, these results demonstrate that NGR1 promotes growth of cultured cortical
neurons from the neonatal rat, possibly via the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.