Nitric oxide is involved in the immunomodulating activities of acidic polysaccharide from Panax ginseng

Planta Med. 2001 Mar;67(2):122-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-11508.


The effects of an acidic polysaccharide isolated from the ethanol-insoluble and water-soluble fraction of Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer on immunomodulating activities were investigated. A high output nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was shown in female BALB/c mice administered intraperitoneally with the acidic polysaccharide from ginseng. Newly synthesized iNOS protein was also observed in peritoneal macrophages cultured with interferon-gamma and the acidic polysaccharide. Spleen cells from acidic polysaccharide-treated mice did not proliferate in response to concanavalin A, but restored the responsiveness by the cotreatment of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (NMMA) with concanavalin A. The treatment of mice with aminoguanidine, a specific iNOS inhibitor, alleviated the acidic polysaccharide-induced suppression of antibody response to sheep red blood cells. Present results suggest that the immunomodulating activities of the acidic polysaccharide were mediated by the production of nitric oxide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / isolation & purification
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured / immunology
  • Concanavalin A / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Female
  • Guanidines / toxicity
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Plant Lectins
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Spleen / immunology
  • omega-N-Methylarginine / pharmacology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Guanidines
  • Plant Lectins
  • Polysaccharides
  • Concanavalin A
  • omega-N-Methylarginine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse
  • pimagedine