Korean ginseng extract ameliorates abnormal immune response through the regulation of inflammatory constituents in Sprague Dawley rat subjected to environmental heat stress

  • Song, Ji-Hyeon (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, College of Life Science, CHA University) ;
  • Kim, Kui-Jin (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, College of Life Science, CHA University) ;
  • Choi, Seo-Yun (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, College of Life Science, CHA University) ;
  • Koh, Eun-Jeong (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, College of Life Science, CHA University) ;
  • Park, JongDae (Central Research Institute, Korean Ginseng Research Co., LTD.) ;
  • Lee, Boo-Yong (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, College of Life Science, CHA University)
  • Received : 2017.12.02
  • Accepted : 2018.02.07
  • Published : 2019.04.15


Background: Increases in the average global temperature cause heat stress-induced disorders by disrupting homeostasis. Excessive heat stress triggers an imbalance in the immune system; thus protection against heat stress is important to maintain immune homeostasis. Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng Meyer) has been used as a herbal medicine and displays beneficial biological properties. Methods: We investigated the protective effects of Korean ginseng extracts (KGEs) against heat stress in a rat model. Following acclimatization for 1 week, rats were housed at room temperature for 2 weeks and then exposed to heat stress ($40^{\circ}C$/2 h/day) for 4 weeks. Rats were treated with three KGEs from the beginning of the second week to the end of the experiment. Results: Heat stress dramatically increased secretion of inflammatory factors, and this was significantly reduced in the KGE-treated groups. Levels of inflammatory factors such as heat shock protein 70, interleukin 6, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha were increased in the spleen and muscle upon heat stress. KGEs inhibited these increases by down-regulating heat shock protein 70 and the associated nuclear $factor-{\kappa}B$ and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. Consequently, KGEs suppressed activation of T-cells and B-cells. Conclusion: KGEs suppress the immune response upon heat stress and decrease the production of inflammatory cytokines in muscle and spleen. We suggest that KGEs protect against heat stress by inhibiting inflammation and maintaining immune homeostasis.



Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (IPET)


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