Korean red ginseng has shown therapeutic effects for a number of disease conditions. However, little is known about the antiinflammatory effect of Korean red ginseng saponin fraction (RGSF) in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, in this study, we showed that RGSF containing 20(S)-protopanaxadiol type saponins inhibited nitric oxide production and attenuated the release of tumor necrotic factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, granulocyte monocyte colony stimulating factor (GMCSF), and macrophage chemo-attractant protein-1 in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells. Moreover, RGSF down-regulated the mRNA expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxyginase-2, IL-1β, TNF-α, GMCSF, and IL-6. Furthermore, RGSF reduced the level of TNF-α in the serum and protected mice against LPS mediated endotoxic shock. In conclusion, these results indicated that ginsenosides from RGSF and their metabolites could be potential sources of therapeutic agents against inflammation.
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