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J Ginseng Res. 2018 Apr;42(2):183-191. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2017.02.005. Epub 2017 Mar 2.

Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of ginsenoside Rf in a rat model of incisional pain.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Ginseng saponin has long been used as a traditional Asian medicine and is known to be effective in treating various kinds of pain. Ginsenoside Rf is one of the biologically active saponins found in ginseng. We evaluated ginsenoside Rf's antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects, and its mechanism of action on adrenergic and serotonergic receptors, in an incisional pain model.


Mechanical hyperalgesia was induced via plantar incision in rats followed by intraperitoneal administration of increasing doses of ginsenoside Rf (vehicle, 0.5 mg/kg, 1 mg/kg, 1.5 mg/kg, and 2 mg/kg). The antinociceptive effect was also compared in a Positive Control Group that received a ketorolac (30 mg/kg) injection, and the Naïve Group, which did not undergo incision. To evaluate the mechanism of action, rats were treated with prazosin (1 mg/kg), yohimbine (2 mg/kg), or ketanserin (1 mg/kg) prior to receiving ginsenoside Rf (1.5 mg/kg). The mechanical withdrawal threshold was measured using von Frey filaments at various time points before and after ginsenoside Rf administration. To evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect, serum interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrotizing factor-α levels were measured.


Ginsenoside Rf increased the mechanical withdrawal threshold significantly, with a curvilinear dose-response curve peaking at 1.5 mg/kg. IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrotizing factor-α levels significantly decreased after ginsenoside Rf treatment. Ginsenoside Rf's antinociceptive effect was reduced by yohimbine, but potentiated by prazosin and ketanserin.


Intraperitoneal ginsenoside Rf has an antinociceptive effect peaking at a dose of 1.5 mg/kg. Anti-inflammatory effects were also detected.


analgesics; antiinflammatory agents; ginsenosides; pain; postoperative

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