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Ginsenoside Rb1 as an Anti-Diabetic Agent and Its Underlying Mechanism Analysis

1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4, 5, 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4,* and 1,2,3,4,*
Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100193, China
Beijing Key Laboratory of Innovative Drug Discovery of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Natural Medicine) and Translational Medicine, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100193, China
Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Resource Utilization of Chinese Herbal Medicine, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100193, China
Key Laboratory of Efficacy Evaluation of Chinese Medicine against Glycolipid Metabolic Disorders, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100193, China
Institute of Medical Information, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100020, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(3), 204;
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 23 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
PDF [1728 KB, uploaded 28 February 2019]


Panax ginseng and Panax notoginseng, two well-known medical plants with economic value, have a long history of use for managing various diseases in Asian countries. Accumulating clinical and experimental evidence suggests that notoginsenosides and ginsenosides, which are the major bioactive components of the plants, have a variety of beneficial effects on several types of disease, including metabolic, vascular, and central nervous system disease. Considerable attention has been focused on ginsenoside Rb1 derived from their common ownership as an anti-diabetic agent that can attenuate insulin resistance and various complications. Particularly, in vitro and in vivo models have suggested that ginsenoside Rb1 exerts various pharmacological effects on metabolic disorders, including attenuation of glycemia, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, which depend on the modulation of oxidative stress, inflammatory response, autophagy, and anti-apoptosis effects. Regulation of these pathophysiological mechanisms can improve blood glucose and insulin resistance and protect against macrovascular/microvascular related complications. This review summarizes the pharmacological effects and mechanisms of action of ginsenoside Rb1 in the management of diabetes or diabetic complications. Moreover, a multi-target effect and mechanism analysis of its antidiabetic actions were performed to provide a theoretical basis for further pharmacological studies and new drug development for clinical treatment of type 2 diabetes. In conclusion, ginsenoside Rb1 exerts significant anti-obesity, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-diabetic effects by regulating the effects of glycolipid metabolism and improving insulin and leptin sensitivities. All of these findings suggest ginsenoside Rb1 exerts protective effects on diabetes and diabetic complications by the regulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism, improving insulin resistance and alleviating the occurrence complications, which should be further explored. Hence, ginsenoside Rb1 may be developed as a potential anti-obesity, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-diabetic agent with multi-target effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: ginsenoside Rb1; diabetes; diabetic complication; multi-target effects ginsenoside Rb1; diabetes; diabetic complication; multi-target effects

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Zhou, P.; Xie, W.; He, S.; Sun, Y.; Meng, X.; Sun, G.; Sun, X. Ginsenoside Rb1 as an Anti-Diabetic Agent and Its Underlying Mechanism Analysis. Cells 2019, 8, 204.

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