Identification of immunomodulatory signatures induced by american ginseng in murine immune cells

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:972814. doi: 10.1155/2013/972814. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Abstract

Background. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius, AG) has been used for more than 300 years. Some of its claimed benefits can be attributed to the immunomodulatory activities, whose molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Methods. Murine splenic cells from adult male C57BL/6 (B6) mice were isolated and divided into 4 groups to mimic 4 basic pathophysiological states: (1) normal naïve; (2) normal activated; (3) deficient naïve; (4) deficient activated. Then, different AG extracts were added to all groups for 24 h incubation. MTT proliferation assays were performed to evaluate the phenotypic features of cells. Finally, microarray assays were carried out to identify differentially expressed genes associated with AG exposure. Real-time PCR was performed to validate the expression of selected genes. Results. Microarray data showed that most of gene expression changes were identified in the deficient naïve group, suggesting that the pathophysiological state has major impacts on transcriptomic changes associated with AG exposure. Specifically, this study revealed downregulation of interferon- γ signaling pathway in the deficient group of cells. Conclusion. Our study demonstrated that only specific groups of immune cells responded to AG intervention and immunocompromised cells were more likely regulated by AG treatment.