, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 531-538

Effects of polysaccharide ginsan fromPanax ginseng on liver function

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Ginsan, a polysaccharide isolated fromPanax ginseng, has been shown to be a potent immunomodulator, producing a variety of cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β IL-2, IL-6, IL-12, IFN-γ and GM-CSF, and stimulating lymphoid cells to proliferate. In the present study, we analyzed some immune functions 1st-5th days after ginsan i.p. injection, including the level of non-protein thiols (NPSH) as antioxidants, heme oxygenase (HO) activity as a marker of oxidative stress, zoxazolamine-induced paralysis time and level of hepatic cytochrome P-450 (CYP450) as indices of drug metabolism system, and activities of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin, and albumin level as indicators of hepatotoxicity. Ginsan in the dose of 100 mg/kg caused marked elevation (1.7~2 fold) of HO activity, decrease of total CYP450 level (by 20-34%), and prolongation of zoxazolamine induced paralysis time (by 65-70%), and showed some differences between male and female mice. Ginsan treatment did not seem to cause hepatic injury, since serum AST, ALT, and ALP activities and levels of total bilirubin and albumin were not changed.