Ginseng Berry Prevents Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage by Improving the Anti-Inflammatory System Damage in Mice and Quality Control of Active Compounds
Department of Herbal Crop Research, National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science, RDA, Eumseong 27709, Korea
Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon 35365, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143522
Received: 1 June 2019 / Revised: 7 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Phytochemicals and Functional Food Ingredients in Fruits and Vegetables 2019)
The ginseng berry contains a variety of biologically active compounds and has a higher ginsenoside content than its roots. This study focused on the hepatoprotective activity of ginseng berry extract prepared by enzyme treatment (EGB) compared to the non-enzyme-treated ginseng berry extract (GB) and quality control of EGB. The feeding effect of EGB on alcohol-induced liver damage (AILD) was investigated by measuring the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) compared with those of EtOH-fed mice. Furthermore, cytokine levels in the culture supernatants of EGB- or GB-treated RAW 264.7 cells were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The developed method was applied to the simultaneous quantification of four major ginsenosides in EGB using UPLC-QTOF/MS. Treatment with EGB at a dose of 0.5 or 1 mg/mouse significantly suppressed the AST and ALT levels in mice with AILD. Enzyme-treated ginseng berry was also found to suppress the production of inflammatory mediators like nitric oxide (NO), tumor-necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages, showing higher activity than that of GB. The amount of ginsenoside Re, F5, F3, and Rd in the EGB obtained using UPLC-QTOF/MS was 45.9, 3.3, 4.0, and 6.2 mg/g, respectively. These results suggest that EGB has a potential effect on AILD, and its hepatoprotective effect provides beneficial insights into developing new candidates for the prevention and cure of AILD. Also, this study demonstrated the utility of UPLC-QTOF/MS-based major compounds for quality control (QC) of EGB.