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. 2015 Jan;39(1):38-45.
doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2014.07.004. Epub 2014 Aug 1.

Comparative Study of Korean White Ginseng and Korean Red Ginseng on Efficacies of OVA-induced Asthma Model in Mice

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Free PMC article

Comparative Study of Korean White Ginseng and Korean Red Ginseng on Efficacies of OVA-induced Asthma Model in Mice

Chi-Yeon Lim et al. J Ginseng Res. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Korean ginseng is a well-known medicinal herb that has been widely used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases, including asthma. Ginseng can be classified as white ginseng (WG) or red ginseng (RG), according to processing conditions. In this study, the authors compared the efficacies of these two ginseng types in a mouse model of acute asthma.

Methods: To produce the acute asthma model, BALB/c mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) and aluminum hydroxide, and then challenged with OVA. WG and RG extracts were administered to mice orally. The influences of WG and RG on airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), immune cell distributions in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE), IgG1, and IgG2a in serum were investigated. Cytokine production by lymphocytes isolated from peribronchial lymph nodes and histopathological changes was also examined.

Results: In OVA-sensitized mice, both WG and RG reduced AHR and suppressed immune cell infiltration in bronchoalveolar regions. BALF OVA-specific IgE levels were significantly lower in RG-treated OVA-sensitized mice than in the OVA-sensitized control group. WG and RG also suppressed inflammatory cytokine production by peribronchial lymphocytes. Histopathological findings showed reduced inflammatory cell infiltration and airway remodeling (e.g., epithelial hyperplasia) in WG- and RG-treated OVA mice compared with OVA controls.

Conclusion: In this study, WG and RG showed antiasthmatic effects in an OVA-sensitized mouse model, and the efficacies of RG were found to be better than those of WG.

Keywords: Korean ginseng; asthma; red ginseng; white ginseng.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
High performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) images of the fingerprints of white ginseng (WG) and of red ginseng (RG). WG (a) and RG (b) extracts were developed on HPTLC plates (silica gel F254; chloroform/methanol, 7:3; under UV or white light) and documented using a visualizer (Camag, Sonnenmattstrasse, Muttenz, Switzerland). (A) Under 254 nm UV light. (B) Under 366 nm UV light. (C) Under 366 nm UV light after spraying with p-anisaldehyde. (D) Under white light after spraying with p-anisaldehyde. Numbers on plates are Rf values. Arrows indicate specific components of WG or RG.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Experimental design and the acute asthma model. Control, white ginseng (WG), and red ginseng (RG) groups were sensitized intraperitoneally on Days 1 and 14, and challenged intranasally on Days 22, 23, and 24. Animals were administered WG or RG from Days 15 to 24. All animals were sacrificed on Day 26. I.N., intranasal; I.P., intraperitoneal; MBPT, methacholine bronchial provocation test; PHS, phosphate buffered saline.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Effects of white ginseng (WG) and red ginseng (RG) on total and differential cell counts in bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF). Results are presented as mean ± SD. #p < 0.05 vs. the naïve group; *p < 0.05 vs. the phosphate buffer saline (PBS)-treated control group. Eos, eosinophils; Lym, lymphocytes; Mac, macrophages; Neu, neutrophils.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Effects of white ginseng (WG) and red ginseng (RG) on airway hyperresponsiveness. Results are presented as mean ± SD. #p < 0.05 vs. the naïve group; *p < 0.05 vs. the phosphate buffer saline (PBS)-treated control group; **p < 0.01 vs. the PBS-treated control group; ***p < 0.001 vs. the PBS-treated control group. Alum, aluminum hydroxide; ns, not specific; OVA, ovalbumin; Penh, enhanced pause.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Effect of white ginseng (WG) and red ginseng (RG) on serum immunoglobulin E (IgE). Samples of serum were collected on Day 26, and levels of ovalbumin (OVA)-specific serum IgE were measured. Results are presented as means ± SD. #p < 0.05 vs. the naïve group; *p < 0.05 vs. the phosphate buffer saline (PBS)-treated control group; **p < 0.01 vs. the PBS-treated control group; §p < 0.05 vs. the WG group.
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Effects of white ginseng (WG) and red ginseng (RG) on serum IgG1 and IgG2. Samples of serum were collected on Day 26, and levels of ovalbumin (OVA)-specific serum IgG1 and IgG2a were measured.
Fig. 7
Fig. 7
Effect of white ginseng (WG) and red ginseng (RG) on bronchoalveolar inflammation. Light microscopy revealed abnormal respiratory epithelium (ellipsoid area), and high numbers of infiltrated inflammatory cells (arrows) in the phosphate buffer saline (PBS)-treated control group as compared with the naïve group. (A) Treatment naïve group. (B) PBS- treated control group. (C–E) WG-treated groups (treated with 30, 90, and 300 mg/kg/d, respectively). (F–H) RG-treated groups (treated with 30, 90, and 300 mg/kg/d, respectively). Photomicrographs of axial sections of mouse lungs (× 100, H&E stain).
Fig. 8
Fig. 8
Comparisons of ovalbumin (OVA)-specific cytokine production of peribronchial lymph node cells. Lymph nodes of mice were collected on Day 26, and after 3 d of incubation with OVA, OVA-specific pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in cell culture media were measured. Results are presented as mean ± SD. #p < 0.05 vs. the naïve group; *p < 0.05 vs. the PBS-treated control group; **p < 0.01 vs. the PBS-treated control group; §p < 0.05 vs. the WG group.

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