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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structure-function relationship exists for ginsenosides in reducing cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis in the human leukemia (THP-1) cell line.

Ginsenosides of the 20(S)-protopanaxadiol and 20(S)-protopanaxatriol classifications including the aglycones, protopanaxadiol (PD), protopanaxatriol (PT), and ginsenosides Rh2 and Rh1 were shown to posses characteristic effects on the proliferation of human leukemia cells (THP-1). A similar efficacy was not apparent for ginsenoside Rg3. The concentrations to inhibit 50% of cells (LC50) for PD, Rh2, PT, and Rh1 were 13, 15, 19, and 210 microg/mL, respectively. PD and PT induced DNA fragmentation at the LC50 after 72 h of treatment, compared to Rh2, Rh1, dexamethasone, and untreated cells. Cell-cycle analysis confirmed apoptosis with PD and PT treatment of THP-1 cells resulting in a buildup of sub-G1 cells after 24, 48, and 72 h of treatment. Rh2 and dexamethasone treatments also increased apoptotic cells after 24 h, whereas Rh1 did not. After 48 and 72 h, Rh2, Rh1, and dexamethasone similarly increased apoptosis, but these effects were significantly (P<0.05) lower than those observed for both PD and PT treatments. Furthermore, treatments that produced the largest buildup of apoptotic cells were also found to have the largest release of lactate dehydrogenase. It can be concluded from these studies that the presence of sugars in PD and PT aglycone structures reduces the potency to induce apoptosis, and alternately alter membrane integrity. These cytotoxic effects were different to THP-1 cells than dexamethasone.[1]


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