Wild Panax ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) protects against methotrexate-induced cell regression by enhancing the immune response in RAW 264.7 macrophages

The American Journal of Chinese Medicine
Hyo Il Jang, Heung Sop Shin


Many traditional herbal medicines have been re-evaluated to determine whether they enhance immune responses. In this study, the possible use of wild Panax ginseng (WPG) for enhancement of host immunity in chemotherapy was investigated. In the cell proliferation assay, WPG significantly enhanced the proliferation of RAW 264.7 macrophages and protected against cell regression in macrophages treated with methotrexate (MTX). WPG induced the production of nitric oxide and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygense-2 mRNA. Furthermore, WPG enhanced the production of cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and chemokines such as macrophage chemotactic protein-1 and regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), regardless of MTX co-administration. Taken together, these results provide the first evidence that WPG triggers immune responses through the prevention of macrophage cell regression caused by MTX and functional activation of macrophages.


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