The protective effects of ginsenosides on human erythrocytes against hemin-induced hemolysis.

Panax ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance stamina and capacity to deal with fatigue and physical stress. Many reports have been devoted to the effects of ginsenosides on many in vitro or in vivo experimental systems. The major aim of this work is to investigate the protective effects of 12 individual ginsenosides including Rb1, Rb3, Rc, Rd, Re, Rg1, Rg2, Rg3, Rh1, Rh2, R1 and pseudoginsenoside F11, together with the central structures of aforementioned ginsenosides, 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (PD) and 20(S)-protopanaxatriol (PT), on hemin-induced hemolysis of human erythrocytes. This is because hemin can induce hemolysis by accelerating the potassium leakage, dissociating skeletal proteins and prohibiting some enzymes in the membrane of erythrocyte. Thus, the structure-activity-relationship (SAR) between ginsenosides and protective effects has been screened in this in vitro experimental system. It is found that Rh2 and Rg3 intensify hemolysis in the presence of hemin, and initiate hemolysis even in the absence of hemin. All the other ginsenosides protect human erythrocytes against hemin-induced hemolysis more or less. The overall sequence is Rc>Rd>Re approximately Rb1>Rg1 approximately Rh1>Rb3 approximately Rg2 approximately R1 approximately F11 approximately PT. In addition, the protective effects of PD and PT have been detected, and found that PD promotes hemolysis appreciably, whereas PT protects erythrocytes efficiently. Moreover, the protective effects of PT ginsenosides are similar to PT itself, and the protective effects of PD ginsenosides vary remarkably, demonstrating that the positions of the sugar moieties make the protective activities of ginsenosides complicated. Especially, sugar moiety at 20-position is critical for PD ginsenosides to inhibit hemolysis, whereas hydroxyl group at 3-position is important for PT ginsenosides. The present result may be useful for understanding the SAR of ginsenosides.
AuthorsGuo-Xiang Li, Zai-Qun Liu
JournalFood and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association (Food Chem Toxicol) Vol. 46 Issue 3 Pg. 886-92 (Mar 2008) ISSN: 0278-6915 [Print] England
PMID18069111 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Ginsenosides
  • Hemin
  • Erythrocytes (drug effects)
  • Ginsenosides (pharmacology)
  • Hemin (pharmacology)
  • Hemolysis (drug effects)
  • Humans

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