Ginseng, refering to the roots of the species of the genus Panax ginseng, has been widely used in traditional oriental medicine for its wide spectrum of medicinal effects, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, adaptogenic, and anti-aging activities. Many of its medicinal effects are attributed to the triterpene glycosides known as ginsenosides. In this study, we report a novel anti-apoptotic activity of 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3 ((20S)Rg3) and its underlying molecular mechanism in human endothelial cells (ECs). ECs undergo apoptosis associated with increased LEHDase (caspase-9) and DEVDase (caspase-3) activity and DNA fragmentation after 24 h of serum deprivation. These apoptotic markers were suppressed by the addition of (20S)Rg3. (20S)Rg3 increased the expression of Bax and conversely decreased Bcl-2. (20S)Rg3 potently induced a rapid and sustained Akt activation and Bad phosphorylation, resulting in the inhibition of mitochondrial cytochrome c release. These anti-apoptotic activities of (20S)Rg3 were significantly abrogated in cells expressing dominant negative Akt. Taken together, our results suggest that (20S)Rg3 prevents EC apoptosis via Akt-dependent inhibition of the mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway. The novel property of (20S)Rg3 may be valuable for developing new pharmaceutical means that will control unwanted endothelial cell death at the site of vascular injury.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2006 Oct 27|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology