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Molecules 2017, 22(4), 664;

Ameliorative Effects and Possible Molecular Mechanism of Action of Black Ginseng (Panax ginseng) on Acetaminophen-Mediated Liver Injury

College of Chinese Medicinal Materials, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anusha Chaparala
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Ginseng Research)
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Background: Frequent overdosing of acetaminophen (APAP) has become the major cause of acute liver injury (ALI). The present study aimed to evaluate the potential hepatoprotective effects of black ginseng (BG) on APAP-induced mice liver injuries and the underlying mechanisms of action were further investigated for the first time. Methods: Mice were treated with BG (300, 600 mg/kg) by oral gavage once a day for seven days. On the 7th day, all mice were treated with 250 mg/kg APAP which caused severe liver injury after 24 h and hepatotoxicity was assessed. Results: Our results showed that pretreatment with BG significantly decreased the levels of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) compared with the APAP group. Meanwhile, hepatic antioxidant including glutathione (GSH) was elevated compared with the APAP group. In contrast, a significant decrease of the levels of the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) was observed in the BG-treated groups compared with the APAP group. These effects were associated with significant increases of cytochrome P450 E1 (CYP2E1) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) levels in liver tissues. Moreover, BG supplementation suppressed activation of apoptotic pathways through increasing Bcl-2 and decreasing Bax protein expression levels according to western blotting analysis. Histopathological examination revealed that BG pretreatment significantly inhibited APAP-induced necrosis and inflammatory infiltration in liver tissues. Biological indicators of nitrative stress like 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) were also inhibited after pretreatment with BG, compared with the APAP group. Conclusions: The results clearly suggest that the underlying molecular mechanisms of action of BG-mediated alleviation of APAP-induced hepatotoxicity may involve its anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-nitrative effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: black ginseng; APAP; liver injury; apoptosis; oxidative stress black ginseng; APAP; liver injury; apoptosis; oxidative stress

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Hu, J.-N.; Liu, Z.; Wang, Z.; Li, X.-D.; Zhang, L.-X.; Li, W.; Wang, Y.-P. Ameliorative Effects and Possible Molecular Mechanism of Action of Black Ginseng (Panax ginseng) on Acetaminophen-Mediated Liver Injury. Molecules 2017, 22, 664.

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