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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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1 Center for Inflammatory, Immunity & Infection, Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA 2 Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, Anyang City, Gyeonggi-do 430-757, Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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 (CC BY 3.0).
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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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