African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12470


Anti-inflammatory effects of ginsenosides from Panax ginseng and their structural analogs

Jongsun Park1 and Jae Youl Cho2*
1College of Medicine, Chungnam University, Daejeon 301-131, Korea. 2School of Bioscience and Biotechnology and Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Korea.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 July 2009
  •  Published: 18 August 2009


Ginsenosides (G) are biologically active saponin compounds found in Panax ginseng. Although these compounds are reported to possess numerous biological activities, recent issues have arisen regarding their immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory roles in inflammatory cells. This is because 1) inflammation, managed by a large amount of different pro-inflammatory mediators such as cytokines, nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin (PG)E2, is now considered as a principle cause of most immunological diseases, such as cancer and autoimmunity; and 2) some ginsenosides (e.g., G-Rb1, G-Rd and G-Rh2) can modulate these phenomena effectively by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators through suppressing the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-kB and its upstream signaling cascade. This review, therefore, discusses the in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory effects of ginsenosides in detail and proposes the possibility that ginsenosides, or their derivatives, can be developed as pharmaceutically useful drugs against NF-kB-mediated inflammatory diseases.


Key words: Ginseng saponin, ginsenoside, inflammation, tumor necrosis factor-a, nitric oxide, prostaglandin.