Objectives: This work aimed to determine some pharmacological properties of non-fermented (WG) and fermented (FWG) extracts of cultured wild ginseng root.
Methods: WG was treated with Bifidobacterium longum to generate FWG. Ginsenoside patterns were analysed using thin-layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. The effect of WG and FWG on reactive oxygen species (ROS) was examined in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Intracellular ROS were detected by flow cytometry. Nitrite in culture supernatant fractions was determined using the Griess reaction. 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl was used to determine anti-radical activity. Cell viability was determined using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay.
Key findings: FWG was rich in ginsenosides Rg3 and Rh2, compared with WG. FWG diminished the enhanced ROS level more strongly than WG in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Both WG and FWG decreased the nitrite levels in stimulated macrophage cells with half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 2.7 and 1.5 mg/ml, respectively, implying that FWG had an enhanced anti-inflammatory activity. Neither WG nor FWG exhibited cytotoxicity on the macrophage cells. In the radical scavenging assay, the IC50 values of WG and FWG were 32.6 and 0.78 mg/ml, respectively, suggesting that FWG had an increased scavenging activity.
Conclusions: FWG possesses enhanced antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activity, indicating that fermentation of cultured wild ginseng root extract with a probiotic bacterium can strengthen some of its desirable effects.
© 2012 The Authors. JPP © 2012. Royal Pharmaceutical Society.