Anticancer Effect of Mountain Ginseng on Human Breast Cancer: Comparison with Farm-Cultivated Ginseng

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020 Jul 25:2020:2584783. doi: 10.1155/2020/2584783. eCollection 2020.


Mountain ginseng has been used generally as a pharmacopuncture for cancer therapy in clinical practice in Northeast Asia. Nonetheless, there have been few scientific reports for the anticancer action of mountain ginseng. In this study, we investigated whether mountain ginseng extract (MGE) could inhibit the growth of breast cancer in in vitro and in vivo models. MGE showed stronger cytotoxicity than farm-cultivated ginseng extract (FGE) through promoting ROS generation. Also MGE dose-dependently brought about mitochondrial dysfunction in MCF-7 cells. In addition, MGE induced apoptosis through enhancing the activities of caspase-3/7 by regulation of expression of Bcl-2, Bax, cytochrome c, and cleaved caspase-3 in the MCF-7 cells. Consistent with the in vitro results, MGE significantly reduced tumor weights compared with FGE in mice transplanted with MCF-7 cells, and it regulated the expression of apoptosis-related proteins, such as Bcl-2, Bax, cytochrome c, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved PARP, in the tumor tissues. Additionally, MGE included higher total ginsenoside contents than FGE. In conclusion, MGE, which is richer in ginsenosides, exerts a stronger anticancer action than FGE in breast cancer. The anticancer action of MGE may be closely correlated with caspase-mediated apoptosis through upregulating ROS generation. Therefore, these findings may be helpful for a clinical understanding of the anticancer mechanism of MGE for breast cancer patients.