Panax ginseng exerts antiproliferative effects on rat hepatocarcinogenesis

Hyemee Kim, Hae Jeung Lee, Dae Joong Kim, Tae Myoung Kim, Hyun Seuk Moon, Haymie Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


It has been proposed that ginseng has chemopreventive effects against several types of cancer in animals and humans. However, the mechanisms underlying the chemopreventive activities of fresh ginseng against hepatocarcinogenesis have not yet been elucidated. Therefore, we hypothesized that these ginseng species may prevent hepatocarcinogenesis but that the chemopreventive mechanisms may differ by species. To determine the chemopreventive and therapeutic potential of 3 different types of fresh ginseng on hepatocarcinogenesis, Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with diethylnitrosamine and fed diets containing 2% Panax japonicus CA Meyer (JN), P. quinquefolius L (QQ), or P. ginseng CA Meyer (GS) for 10 weeks. Glutathione S-transferase P form (GST-P)-positive foci, a stable marker for rat hepatocarcinogenesis, were shown in all carcinogen-injected rats; but only the GS diet significantly reduced the area and number (62% and 68%, respectively; P < .05) of GST-P-positive foci compared with the diethylnitrosamine control group. In addition, the number of proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive hepatocytes in the GST-P-positive area was significantly decreased in the GS group but not in the JN or QQ groups. Using cDNA microarray analyses to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms, we observed that the p53 signaling pathway was altered by the GS diet and that the expression of Cyclin D1, Cyclin G1, Cdc2a, and Igf-1, which are involved in the p53 signaling pathway, was downregulated by the GS diet. Our data demonstrate, for the first time, that GS, but not JN or QQ, induces cell cycle arrest in hepatocarcinogenesis. This study suggests that fresh GS has potential chemopreventive effects and may prove to be a therapeutic agent against hepatocarcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-760
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grant 001-02-003-81 of the Korea Food Research Institute .


  • Cell cycle
  • DEN
  • Ginseng
  • Hepatocarcinogenesis
  • Panax ginseng CA Meyer
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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