Anti-inflammatory potential of total saponins derived from the roots of Panax ginseng in lipopolysaccharide-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages.
Exp Ther Med. 2016 Mar ;11(3):1109-1115. Epub 2015 Dec 29. PMID: 26998045
Ginseng, the root of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer (Araliaceae), is a widely known traditional medicine that has been utilized throughout Asia for several thousand years. Ginseng saponins exert various important pharmacological effects regarding the control of a number of diseases. The aim of the present study was to identify the anti-inflammatory effects of total saponins extracted from ginseng (TSG) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated mouse RAW 264.7 macrophages. The inhibitory effects of TSG on LPS-induced nitric oxide (NO) production and LPS-induced tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) protein expression were determined by measuring the levels of nitrite and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, respectively. Furthermore, the effects of TSG on the mRNA expression levels and localizations of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), IL-1β and TNF-α, andtheir upstream signaling proteins, including nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), were investigated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blotting, respectively. Following stimulation with LPS, elevated levels of NO production were detected in RAW 264.7 cells; however, TSG pretreatment significantly inhibited the production of NO (P<0.05), by suppressing the expression of iNOS. In addition, LPS-stimulated TNF-α and IL-1β production was significantly reduced by TSG (P<0.05). In the LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells, NF-κB was translocated from the cytosol to the nucleus, whilst TSG pretreatment induced the sequestration of NF-κB in the cytosol by inhibiting inhibitor of κB degradation. TSG also contributed to downregulation of MAPKs in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. These results suggested that TSG may exert anti-inflammatory activity, and that TSG may be considered a potential therapeutic for the treatment of inflammatory diseases associated with macrophage activation.