Attenuation of liver pro-inflammatory responses by Zingiber officinale via inhibition of NF-kappa B activation in high-fat diet-fed rats

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012 Mar;110(3):238-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2011.00791.x. Epub 2011 Oct 21.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether treatment with a ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract of high-fat diet (HFD)-fed rats suppresses Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)-driven hepatic inflammation and to subsequently explore the molecular mechanisms in vitro. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with an ethanolic extract of Zingiber officinale (400 mg/kg) along with a HFD for 6 weeks. Hepatic cytokine mRNA levels, cytokine protein levels and NF-κB activation were measured by real-time PCR, Western blot and an NF-κB nuclear translocation assay, respectively. In vitro, cell culture studies were carried out in human hepatocyte (HuH-7) cells by treatment with Zingiber officinale (100 μg/mL) for 24 hr prior to interleukin-1β (IL-1β, 8 ng/mL)-induced inflammation. We showed that Zingiber officinale treatment decreased cytokine gene TNFα and IL-6 expression in HFD-fed rats, which was associated with suppression of NF-κB activation. In vitro, Zingiber officinale treatment decreased NF-κB-target inflammatory gene expression of IL-6, IL-8 and serum amyloid A1 (SAA1), while it suppressed NF-κB activity, IκBα degradation and IκB kinase (IKK) activity. In conclusion, Zingiber officinale suppressed markers of hepatic inflammation in HFD-fed rats, as demonstrated by decreased hepatic cytokine gene expression and decreased NF-κB activation. The study demonstrates that the anti-inflammatory effect of Zingiber officinale occurs at least in part through the NF-κB signalling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Zingiber officinale / chemistry*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger