Atypical formations of gintonin lysophosphatidic acids as new materials and their beneficial effects on degenerative diseases

Ji Hun Kim, Ra Mi Lee, Hyo Bin Oh, Tae Young Kim, Hyewhon Rhim, Yoon Kyung Choi, Jong Hoon Kim, Seikwan Oh, Do Geun Kim, Ik Hyun Cho, Seung Yeol Nah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Fresh ginseng is prone to spoilage due to its high moisture content. For long-term storage, most fresh ginsengs are dried to white ginseng (WG) or steamed for hours at high temperature/pressure and dried to form Korean Red ginseng (KRG). They are further processed for ginseng products when subjected to hot water extraction/concentration under pressure. These WG or KRG preparation processes affect ginsenoside compositions and also other ginseng components, probably during treatments like steaming and drying, to form diverse bioactive phospholipids. It is known that ginseng contains high amounts of gintonin lysophosphatidic acids (LPAs). LPAs are simple lipid-derived growth factors in animals and humans and act as exogenous ligands of six GTP-binding-protein coupled LPA receptor subtypes. LPAs play diverse roles ranging from brain development to hair growth in animals and humans. LPA-mediated signaling pathways involve various GTP-binding proteins to regulate downstream pathways like [Ca2+]i transient induction. Recent studies have shown that gintonin exhibits anti-Alzheimer's disease and anti-arthritis effects in vitro and in vivo mediated by gintonin LPAs, the active ingredients of gintonin, a ginseng-derived neurotrophin. However, little is known about how gintonin LPAs are formed in high amounts in ginseng compared to other herbs. This review introduces atypical or non-enzymatic pathways under the conversion of ginseng phospholipids into gintonin LPAs during steaming and extraction/concentration processes, which exert beneficial effects against degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and arthritis in animals and humans via LPA receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Ginseng Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • Degenerative diseases
  • Ginseng
  • Gintonin lysophosphatidic acids
  • New material
  • ginseng-derived neurotrophin


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