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J Korean Med Sci. 2011 Oct;26(10):1316-21. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2011.26.10.1316. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Ginseng total saponin improves podocyte hyperpermeability induced by high glucose and advanced glycosylation endproducts.

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Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.


Early diabetic nephropathy is characterized by glomerular hyperpermeability as a result of impaired glomerular filtration structure caused by hyperglycemia, glycated proteins or irreversible advanced glycosylation endproducts (AGE). To investigate the effect of ginseng total saponin (GTS) on the pathologic changes of podocyte ZO (zonula occludens)-1 protein and podocyte permeability induced by diabetic conditions, we cultured mouse podocytes under: 1) normal glucose (5 mM, = control); 2) high glucose (HG, 30 mM); 3) AGE-added; or 4) HG plus AGE-added conditions and treated with GTS. HG and AGE increased the dextran filtration of monolayered podocytes at early stage (2-8 hr) in permeability assay. In confocal imaging, ZO-1 colocalized with actin filaments and β-catenin at cell contact areas, forming intercellular filtration gaps. However, these diabetic conditions suppressed ZO-1 immunostainings and disrupted the linearity of ZO-1. In Western blotting, diabetic conditions also decreased cellular ZO-1 protein levels at 6 hr and 24 hr. GTS improved such quantitative and qualitative changes. These findings imply that HG and AGE have an influence on the redistribution and amount of ZO-1 protein of podocytes thereby causing hyperpermeability at early stage, which can be reversed by GTS.


Advanced Glycosylation Endproducts; Diabetic nephropathies; Ginseng Total Saponin; Podocytes; ZO-1

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