, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 836-846

Bioactivity and Bioavailability of Ginsenosides are Dependent on the Glycosidase Activities of the A/J Mouse Intestinal Microbiome Defined by Pyrosequencing

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ABSTRACT

Purpose

To investigate the ability of bacteria in the intestinal microbiome to convert naturally occurring primary ginsenosides in red ginseng extract to active secondary ginsenosides.

Methods

Anti-proliferative ginsenoside activity was tested using mouse lung cancer LM1 cells. Permeabilities were evaluated in Caco-2 cell monolayers. Systemic exposure of secondary ginsenosides was determined in A/J mice. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing was used to determine membership and abundance of bacteria in intestinal microbiome.

Results

Secondary ginsenoside C-K exhibited higher anti-proliferative activity and permeability than primary ginsenosides. Significant amounts of secondary ginsenosides (F2 and C-K) were found in blood of A/J mice following oral administration of primary ginsenoside Rb1. Because mammalian cells did not hydrolyze ginsenoside, we determined the ability of bacteria to hydrolyze ginsenosides and found that Rb1 underwent stepwise hydrolysis to Rd, F2, and then C-K. Formation of F2 from Rd was the rate-limiting step in the biotransformation of Rb1 to C-K.

Conclusion

Conversion to F2 is the rate-limiting step in bioactivation of primary ginsenosides by A/J mouse intestinal microbiome, whose characterization reveals the presence of certain bacterial families capable of enabling the formation of F2 and C-K in vivo.