Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Ginsenoside Rf, a component of ginseng, regulates lipoprotein metabolism through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha.

PMID 16297877


We investigated whether ginseng regulates lipoprotein metabolism by altering peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha)-mediated pathways, using a PPARalpha-null mouse model. Administration of ginseng extract, ginsenosides, and ginsenoside Rf (Rf) to wild-type mice not only significantly increased basal levels of hepatic apolipoprotein (apo) A-I and C-III mRNA compared with wild-type controls, but also substantially reversed the reductions in mRNA levels of apo A-I and C-III expected following treatment with the potent PPARalpha ligand Wy14,643. In contrast, no effect was detected in the PPARalpha-null mice. Testing of eight main ginsenosides on PPARalpha reporter gene expression indicated that Rf was responsible for the effects of ginseng on lipoprotein metabolism. Furthermore, the inhibition of PPARalpha-dependent transactivation by Rf seems to occur at the level of DNA binding. These results demonstrate that ginseng component Rf regulates apo A-I and C-III mRNA and the actions of Rf on lipoprotein metabolism are mediated via interactions with PPARalpha.

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