BACKGROUND: Ginsenosides, the major bioactive compounds in ginseng root, have been found to have antioxidant, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities. This study investigated the effects of ginsenosides on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatitis and liver fibrosis in rats.
METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: control, CCl4, CCl4 + 0.5 g/kg Panax ginseng extract and CCl4 + 0.05 g/kg ginsenoside Rb1 groups. The treated groups were orally given Panax ginseng extract or ginsenoside Rb1 two weeks before the induction of liver injury for successive 9 weeks. Liver injury was induced by intraperitoneally injected with 400 ml/l CCl4 at a dose of 0.75 ml/kg body weight weekly for 7 weeks. The control group was intraperitoneally injected with olive oil.
RESULTS: The pathological results showed that ginsenoside Rb1 decreased hepatic fat deposition (2.65 ± 0.82 vs 3.50 ± 0.75, p
CONCLUSIONS: Panax ginseng extract and ginsenoside Rb1 attenuate plasma aminotransferase activities and liver inflammation to inhibit CCl4-induced liver fibrosis through down-regulation of hepatic prostaglandin E2 and TIMP-1.
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