Enhancing Immunomodulatory Function of Red Ginseng Through Fermentation Using Bifidobacterium animalis Subsp. lactis LT 19-2
Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Research Institute of Eco-friendly Livestock Science, Institute of Green-Bio Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang 25354, Korea
Graduate School of International Agricultural Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang 25354, Korea
Food Analysis Center, Korea Food Research Institute, Wanju 55365, Korea
Division of Bioengineering, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Korea
Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Sungshin University, Seoul 01133, Korea
Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Jae Hwan Kim, Eun-Hee Doo, and Minju Jeong contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1481; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071481
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Wellness)
Removal of sugar moieties from ginsenosides has been proposed to increase their biological effects in various disease models. In order to identify strains that can increase aglycone contents, we performed a screening using bacteria isolated from the feces of infants focusing on acid tolerance and β-glucosidase activity. We isolated 565 bacteria and selected Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis LT 19-2 (LT 19-2), which exhibited the highest β-glucosidase activity with strong acid tolerance. As red ginseng (RG) has been known to exert immunomodulatory functions, we fermented RG using LT 19-2 (FRG) and investigated whether this could alter the aglycone profile of ginsenosides and improve its immunomodulatory effect. FRG increased macrophage activity more potently compared to RG, demonstrated by higher TNF-α and IL-6 production. More importantly, the FRG treatment stimulated the proliferation of mouse splenocytes and increased TNF-α levels in bone marrow-derived macrophages, confirming that the enhanced immunomodulatory function can be recapitulated in primary immune cells. Examination of the molecular mechanism revealed that F-RG could induce phosphorylations of ERK, p38, JNK, and NF-κB. Analysis of the ginsenoside composition showed a decrease in Rb1, Re, Rc, and Rb3, accompanied by an increase in Rd, Rh1, F2, and Rg3, the corresponding aglycone metabolites, in FRG compared to RG. Collectively, LT 19-2 maybe used as a probiotic strain to improve the bioactivity of functional foods through modifying the aglycone/glycoside profile.