Caspase-Mediated Anti-Apoptotic Effect of Ginsenoside Rg5, a Main Rare Ginsenoside, on Acetaminophen-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Mice.
J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Oct 25 ;65(42):9226-9236. Epub 2017 Oct 16. PMID: 28965396
Frequent overdose of acetaminophen (APAP) is one of the most common and important incentives of acute hepatotoxicity. Prior to this work, our research group confirmed that black ginseng (Panax ginseng, BG) showed powerful protective effects on APAP-induced ALI. However, it is not clear which kind of individual ginsenoside from BG plays such a liver protection effect. The objective of the current investigation was to evaluate whether ginsenoside Rg5 (G-Rg5) protected against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity and the involved action mechanisms. Mice were administrated with G-Rg5 at two dosages of 10 or 20 mg/kg for 7 consecutive days. After the last treatment, all of the animals that received a single intraperitoneal injection of APAP (250 mg/kg) showed severe liver toxicity after 24 h, and the liver protection effects of G-Rg5 were examined. The results clearly indicated that pretreatment with G-Rg5 remarkably inhibited the production of serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) compared with the APAP group. Meanwhile, G-Rg5 decreased the hepatic malondialdehyde (MDA) content, the protein expression levels of 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) and cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) in the liver tissues. G-Rg5 decreased APAP caused the hepatic overexpressionof cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Furthermore, analysis of immunohistochemistry and Western blotting also indicated that G-Rg5 pretreatment inhibited activation of apoptotic pathways mainly via increasing the expression of Bcl-2 protein, decreasing the expression of Bax protein, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), cytochrome c, caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9. Liver histopathological observation provided further evidence that pretreatment with G-Rg5 could significantly inhibit hepatocyte necrosis, inflammatory cell infiltration, and apoptosis caused by APAP. In conclusion, the present study clearly demonstrates that G-Rg5 exerts a liver protection effect against APAP-induced acute hepatotoxicity mainly via a caspase-mediated anti-apoptotic effect.