Ginseng berry extract prevents atherogenesis via anti-inflammatory action by upregulating phase II gene expression

Chun Ki Kim, Dong Hui Cho, Kyu Sun Lee, Dong Keon Lee, Chan Woong Park, Wan Gi Kim, Sang Jun Lee, Kwon Soo Ha, Oh Goo Taeg, Young Guen Kwon, Young Myeong Kim

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37 Scopus citations


Ginseng berry possesses higher ginsenoside content than its root, which has been traditionally used in herbal medicine for many human diseases, including atherosclerosis. We here examined the antiatherogenic effects of the Korean ginseng berry extract (KGBE) and investigated its underlying mechanism of action in vitro and in vivo. Administration of KGBE decreased atherosclerotic lesions, which was inversely correlated with the expression levels of phase II genes to include heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and glutamine-cysteine ligase (GCL). Furthermore, KGBE administration suppressed NF-B-mediated expression of atherogenic inflammatory genes (TNF-α, IL-1β, iNOS, COX-2, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1), without altering serum cholesterol levels, in ApoE-/- mice fed a high fat-diet. Treatment with KGBE increased phase II gene expression and suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced reactive oxygen species production, NF-B activation, and inflammatory gene expression in primary macrophages. Importantly, these cellular events were blocked by selective inhibitors of HO-1 and GCL. In addition, these inhibitors reversed the suppressive effect of KGBE on TNF-α-mediated induction of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, resulting in decreased interaction between endothelial cells and monocytes. These results suggest that KGBE ameliorates atherosclerosis by inhibiting NF-B-mediated expression of atherogenic genes via upregulation of phase II enzymes and thus has therapeutic or preventive potential for atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number490301
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
StatePublished - 2012


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