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Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(2):329-39.

Transgenic Panax ginseng inhibits the production of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 as well as COX-2 expression in human mast cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Oriental Medicine, Institute of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-Dong, Dongdaemun-Gu, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea.


The most well-known medicinal plant, Panax ginseng (P. ginseng), contains various phytosterols and bioactive triterpene saponins (ginsenosides). Squalene synthase is a key regulatory enzyme for triterpene biosynthesis and overexpression of the squalene synthase confers the hyper-production of triterpene saponins to form transgenic ginseng. In this study, we have investigated whether and how transgenic P. ginseng modulates an inflammatory reaction in a stimulated human mast cell line, HMC-1. It was found that transgenic P. ginseng inhibited the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) plus calcium ionophore A23187 (PMACI)-stimulated HMC-1. Additionally, we have shown that transgenic P. ginseng suppressed the intracellular calcium level induced by PMACI. These results provide new insights into the pharmacological actions of transgenic P. ginseng as a potential molecule for use in therapy in mast cell-mediated inflammatory diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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