Anti-cancer effects of panax ginseng berry polysaccharides via activation of immune-related cells

Dae Young Lee, Chan Woong Park, Sue Jung Lee, Hye Ryung Park, Su Hwan Kim, Seung U. Son, Jiyong Park, Kwang Soon Shin

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Panax ginseng has long been used as natural medicine and health food all over the world. Cancer is a major cause of death worldwide and its prognosis likely depends on the immune system during tumor treatment. In this study, ginseng berry polysaccharides were evaluated for their immunostimulant and anti-cancer effects. Ginseng berry polysaccharide portion (GBPP) was used to investigate its effects on anti-complementary activity, peritoneal macrophage activation, and natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity. Moreover, both intravenous (i.v.) and oral administration of GBPP prior to B16-BL6 melanoma implantation in mice was evaluated. GBPP significantly increased the anti-complementary activity and cytokine production including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, dose-dependently. Splenocytes obtained after i.v. administration of GBPP showed cytolytic activity in Yac-1 cells in proportion to the E/T ratio. In addition, GBPP enhanced the production of interferon (IFN)-γ and granzyme B of NK cells. For the experimental lung cancer, compared with control mice, GBPP delivered by i.v. suppressed cancer by 48% at 100 μg/mouse, while a 37% reduction was achieved by oral administration. Deficient of NK cells in animal model demonstrated that the anticancer effect of GBPP was through NK cell activation. Results of this study suggest that ginseng berry polysaccharides, owing to their modulation of the immune response, can be a potential curative applicant for the prevention and treatment of tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1411
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Kyonggi University's Graduate Research Assistantship 2019. We thank all of participating researchers and our study staff.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 Lee, Park, Lee, Park, Kim, Son, Park and Shin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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