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J Med Food. 2014 Aug;17(8):849-54. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.3020. Epub 2014 Jul 1.

Ginsenoside Rb1 eliminates HIV-1 (D3)-transduced cytoprotective human macrophages by inhibiting the AKT pathway.

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1 Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Sciences, Kyung Hee University , Seoul, South Korea .


Abstract Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients treated with red ginseng, which contains protopanxadiol and protopanaxatriol ginsenosides as its main constituents, have been reported to remain healthy for >20 years in the absence of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Of these ginsenosides, ginsenoside Rh1, a protopanaxatriol ginsenoside, is known to eliminate cytoprotective HIV-1-infected macrophages by inhibiting pyruvate dehydrogenase lipoamide kinase isozyme 1 (PDK-1) phosphorylation. In this study, we investigated the capacity of ginsenoside Rb1, a protopanaxadiol ginsenoside, to eliminate cytoprotective primary human macrophages. We found that ginsenoside Rb1 could also eliminate cytoprotective primary human macrophages infected with HIV-1 D3. Ginsenoside Rb1 inhibited lipopolysaccharide/cycloheximide-induced AKT and glycogen synthase kinase-3β phosphorylation in the D3-transduced macrophages, but not the phosphorylation of PDK-1 and phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K). Furthermore, we also observed that a combined treatment with ginsenoside Rb1 and miltefosine synergistically abolished the cytoprotective CHME5 cells expressing HIV-1 tat. Based on these findings, we can conclude that ginsenoside Rb1 can eliminate cytoprotective macrophages infected with HIV-1 by inhibiting the AKT pathway.


antiviral activity; ginseng; ginsenosides

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