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International journal of molecular medicine

Cholesterol-dependent induction of dendrite formation by ginsenoside Rh2 in cultured melanoma cells.


PMID 21042771

Abstract

Herbal remedies containing root extracts of Panax ginseng are commonly used for complementary or alternative therapies. Ginsenosides, the major components of root extracts, are responsible for ginseng's pharmacological and biological effects; however, their mechanisms of action are unclear. We examined whether membrane cholesterol was involved in the mechanism of action of ginsenoside Rh2 in cultured cells. In B16 melanoma cells, Rh2 (18.5 µM) induced dendrite formation within 2 h. Depletion of cholesterol by pretreatment with 10 mM methyl-β-cyclodextrin suppressed this effect of Rh2. Rh2 did not change the cellular cholesterol content and the immunofluorescence staining pattern of the lipid-raft-associated molecules, ganglioside GM3, Caveolin-1, Flotillin-1, and Flotillin-2, for up to 3 or 6 h. However, within 2 min of addition, Rh2 changed the fluorescence polarization of 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) but not of 1-[4-(trimethylammonio)phenyl]-6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (TMA-DPH). DPH is more sensitive than TMA-DPH to changes in the physical properties of membrane lipid bilayers regulated by cholesterol. These results suggest that Rh2 affects the physical properties of cholesterol-regulated membrane lipid bilayers and could lead to changes in cellular functions.

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73658
Ginsenoside Rh2, analytical standard
C36H62O8