Lack of evidence for induction of CYP2B1, CYP3A23, and CYP1A2 gene expression by Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius extracts in adult rats and primary cultures of rat hepatocytes

Drug Metab Dispos. 2005 Jan;33(1):19-22. doi: 10.1124/dmd.104.001917. Epub 2004 Oct 1.


Treatment of rats with a single oral dose (10-30 mg/kg) of a crude Panax ginseng extract of unknown ginsenoside content has been reported to modestly increase hepatic microsomal cytochrome P450-mediated aminopyrine N-demethylation activity. In the present study, we compared the effect of P. ginseng and Panax quinquefolius extracts on rat hepatic CYP2B1, CYP3A23, and CYP1A2 gene expression. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-275 g) received, by oral gavage or i.p., P. ginseng extract [4% (w/w) total ginsenosides; 30 or 100 mg/kg/day for 1 or 4 days], P. quinquefolius extract [10% (w/w) total ginsenosides; 100 or 400 mg/kg/day for 21 consecutive days), or an equivalent volume (2 ml/kg) of the vehicle (0.9% NaCl or 0.3% carboxymethylcellulose) and were terminated 1 day after the last dose. P. ginseng and P. quinquefolius extracts did not affect body weight gain, absolute or relative liver weight, hepatic CYP2B1, CYP3A23, or CYP1A2 mRNA expression, or microsomal CYP2B-mediated 7-benzyloxyresorufin O-dealkylation (BROD) or CYP1A-mediated 7-ethoxyresorufin O-dealkylation (EROD) activity. In contrast, results from positive control experiments indicated that phenobarbital increased CYP2B1 mRNA and BROD activity, dexamethasone increased CYP3A23 mRNA, and beta-naphthoflavone increased CYP1A2 mRNA and EROD activity levels. Treatment of primary cultures of rat hepatocytes with either of the ginseng extracts (0.1-1000 microg/ml for 2 days) also did not affect CYP2B1 or CYP3A23 mRNA expression. Overall, our data indicate that P. ginseng and P. quinquefolius extracts do not increase rat hepatic CYP2B1, CYP3A23, or CYP1A2 gene expression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / biosynthesis*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 / biosynthesis*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B1 / biosynthesis*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Enzyme Induction / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / physiology
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Panax / enzymology*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Plant Extracts
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Cyp3a23-3a1 protein, rat
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B1
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A