Panax ginseng C.A. Mayer G115 modulates pro-inflammatory cytokine production in mice throughout the increase of macrophage toll-like receptor 4 expression during physical stress

Brain Behav Immun. 2006 Nov;20(6):546-51. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2005.11.007. Epub 2006 Feb 15.


The effect of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer G115 on inflammatory cytokine production and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) RNA expression was examined in mice during 4 weeks of swimming stress. Mice were assigned to four groups: (1) control (no exercise); (2) control-G115 (25 mg/kg/day p.o.); (3) stress (kept swimming for 60 min daily); and (4) stress-G115 (25 mg/kg/day p.o. and kept swimming for 60 min daily). Peritoneal macrophages were collected at rest each week. RNA was extracted and processed for real-time PCR. An aliquot of macrophages was lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated for TNF-alpha and IL-1beta production. Different expression patterns between untreated and treated groups, and between TLR2 and TLR4 were found. High levels of TLR4 expression in the control-G115 group were detectable significantly at the first, and at the second week (P<.01 and P<.001, respectively). In the stress group, TLR4 showed a peak at the first week (P<.001 vs. controls) and then decreased gradually. In the stress-G115 group, the levels of TLR4 expression increased gradually at the second week (P<.001 vs. controls) with a peak at the third week (P<.001). Levels of TLR4 expression at the fourth week had returned to the basal level. Levels of TLR2 expression were not affected by treatment in all groups. A significant increase of LPS-stimulated IL-1beta and TNF-alpha concentrations was present in trained animals with similar patterns of TLR4 expression. These results support the hypothesis that enhancement of the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine can be linked to an increased expression of TLR4 on macrophages. Moreover, G115 increases the expression of TLR4 and the release of cytokines with a different pattern compared to the stressed alone group.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1beta / immunology
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Panax*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • RNA / analysis
  • Random Allocation
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stress, Physiological / immunology*
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism
  • Swimming / physiology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / drug effects*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tlr4 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • RNA