Ginsenoside F2 attenuates chronic-binge ethanol-induced liver injury by increasing regulatory T cells and decreasing Th17 cells

Myung Ho Kim, Hee Hoon Kim, Jong Min Jeong, Young Ri Shim, Jun Hee Lee, Ye Eun Kim, Tom Ryu, Keungmo Yang, Kyu Rae Kim, Byeong Min Jeon, Sun Chang Kim, Jae Kwang Jung, Jae Kap Choi, Young Sun Lee, Jin Seok Byun, Won Il Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recently, beneficial roles of ginsenoside F2 (GF2), a minor constituent of Panax ginseng, have been demonstrated in diverse inflammatory diseases. However, its roles in alcoholic liver inflammation and injury have not been clearly understood. Here, we investigated the underlying mechanism by which GF2 ameliorated alcoholic liver injury. Methods: To induce alcoholic liver injury, C57BL/6J wild type (WT) or interleukin (IL)-10 knockout (KO) mice were orally administered with ethanol (3 g/kg) or ethanol-containing GF2 (50 mg/kg) for 2 wk. Liver injury and infiltration of macrophages and neutrophils were evaluated by serum biochemistry and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The changes of hepatic immune cells were assessed by flow cytometry and polymerase chain reaction analysis. In vitro differentiation of naïve T cells was performed. Results: GF2 treatment significantly attenuated alcoholic liver injury, in which infiltrations of inflammatory macrophages and neutrophils were decreased. Moreover, the frequencies of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) increased but IL-17–producing T (Th17) cells decreased in GF2-treated mice compared to controls. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of IL-10 and Foxp3 was significantly increased, whereas IL-17 mRNA expression was suppressed in GF2-treated mice. However, these beneficial roles of GF2 were not observed in GF2-treated IL-10 KO mice, suggesting a critical role of IL-10. Similarly, GF2 treatment suppressed differentiation of naïve T cells into Th17 cells by inhibiting RORγt expression and stimulating Foxp3 expression. Conclusion: The present study suggests that GF2 treatment attenuates alcoholic liver injury by increasing IL-10 expression and Tregs and decreasing IL-17 expression and Th17 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ginseng Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the Korea government (MEST) ( 2018R1A2A1A05077608 ), Korea Mouse Phenotyping Project ( 2014M3A9D5A01073556 ), and the Intelligent Synthetic Biology Center of Global Frontier Project ( 2011-0031955 ) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-17
  • Macrophage
  • Neutrophil
  • Panax ginseng

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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