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Nutrients 2014, 6(2), 517-529; doi:10.3390/nu6020517
Article

Immunomodulatory Activity of Red Ginseng against Influenza A Virus Infection

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Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 17 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
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Abstract

Ginseng herbal medicine has been known to have beneficial effects on improving human health. We investigated whether red ginseng extract (RGE) has preventive effects on influenza A virus infection in vivo and in vitro. RGE was found to improve survival of human lung epithelial cells upon influenza virus infection. Also, RGE treatment reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory genes (IL-6, IL-8) probably in part through interference with the formation of reactive oxygen species by influenza A virus infection. Long-term oral administration of mice with RGE showed multiple immunomodulatory effects such as stimulating antiviral cytokine IFN-γ production after influenza A virus infection. In addition, RGE administration in mice inhibited the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the bronchial lumens. Therefore, RGE might have the potential beneficial effects on preventing influenza A virus infections via its multiple immunomodulatory functions.
Keywords: Panax ginseng; influenza A virus; epithelial cells; oxidative stress; interferon Panax ginseng; influenza A virus; epithelial cells; oxidative stress; interferon
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lee, J.S.; Hwang, H.S.; Ko, E.-J.; Lee, Y.-N.; Kwon, Y.-M.; Kim, M.-C.; Kang, S.-M. Immunomodulatory Activity of Red Ginseng against Influenza A Virus Infection. Nutrients 2014, 6, 517-529.

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