Korean Red Ginseng Extract Inhibits IL-8 Expression via Nrf2 Activation in Helicobacter pylori-Infected Gastric Epithelial Cells

Hae Sou Kim, Joo Weon Lim, Hyeyoung Kim

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) causes gastric diseases by increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and interleukin (IL)-8 expression in gastric epithelial cells. ROS and inflammatory responses are regulated by the activation of nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and the expression of Nrf2 target genes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). We previously demonstrated that Korean red ginseng extract (RGE) decreases H. pylori-induced increases in ROS and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 in gastric epithelial cells. We determined whether RGE suppresses the expression of IL-8 via Nrf2 activation and the expression of SOD and HO-1 in H. pylori-infected gastric epithelial AGS cells. H. pylori-infected cells were treated with RGE with or without ML385, an Nrf2 inhibitor, or zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP), a HO-1 inhibitor. Levels of ROS and IL-8 expression; abundance of Keap1, HO-1, and SOD; levels of total, nuclear, and phosphorylated Nrf2; indices of mitochondrial dysfunction (reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP level); and SOD activity were determined. As a result, RGE disturbed Nrf2–Keap1 interactions and increased nuclear Nrf2 levels in uninfected cells. H. pylori infection decreased the protein levels of SOD-1 and HO-1, as well as SOD activity, which was reversed by RGE treatment. RGE reduced H. pylori-induced increases in ROS and IL-8 levels as well as mitochondrial dysfunction. ML385 or ZnPP reversed the inhibitory effect of RGE on the alterations caused by H. pylori. In conclusion, RGE suppressed IL-8 expression and mitochondrial dysfunction via Nrf2 activation, induction of SOD-1 and HO-1, and reduction of ROS in H. pylori-infected cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1044
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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