Journal of ethnopharmacology

Dual functions of ginsenosides in protecting human endothelial cells against influenza H9N2-induced inflammation and apoptosis.

PMID 21872652


Panax ginseng is a precious traditional Chinese herbal medicine which has been utilized as herbal tonic for improving immunity. The active component, ginsenosides have been shown to possess various pharmacological functions including immunomodulation and cardiovascular protection. To investigate the immunomodulatory effect and anti-apoptotic effect of ginsenosides on avian influenza-infected human endothelial cells, and to present evidence for the cardiovascular protection by ginseng during influenza infection. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were infected with avian influenza H9N2/G1 to induce IP-10 production and cell death, cells were then incubated with ginsenosides PPT and Re. The level of IP-10 and microRNA was determined by ELISA and real-time PCR respectively. Cell death was determined by MTT, TUNEL and flow cytometry. Ginsenoside metabolite protopanaxatriol showed significant suppression effect on IP-10 production upon H9N2/G1 infection through up-regulation of miR-15b expression. In addition, ginsenoside-induced cytoprotection was reflected in the increase of cell viability. Data from flow cytometry analysis and TUNEL assay also showed that ginsenoside Re could protect ECs from H9N2/G1-induced apoptosis and DNA damage. This report further supports the traditional belief for immunomodulatory effects of ginseng, also demonstrated the partial protective mechanism of ginsenosides on avian influenza infection and its related endothelial dysfunction.

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P0034 20S-Protopanaxatriol
Ginsenoside Re, primary pharmaceutical reference standard