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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 265023, 14 pages
Research Article

Ginseng and Its Active Components Ginsenosides Inhibit Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Cells by Regulating MMP-2 and MMP-9

1Department of Life Sciences, Mokwon University, Daejeon 302-729, Republic of Korea
2Genome Research Center, KRIBB, Daejeon 305-806, Republic of Korea
3Department of Formula Sciences, College of Oriental Medicine, Dong-Eui University, Busan 614-052, Republic of Korea

Received 29 July 2012; Revised 27 September 2012; Accepted 4 October 2012

Academic Editor: Chong-Zhi Wang

Copyright © 2012 Jaeho Oh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The growth and development of adipose tissue are believed to require adipogenesis, angiogenesis, and extracellular matrix remodeling. As our previous study revealed that ginseng reduces adipose tissue mass in part by decreasing matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in obese mice, we hypothesized that adipogenesis can be inhibited by ginseng and its active components ginsenosides (GSs). Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with Korean red ginseng extract (GE) inhibited lipid accumulation and the expression of adipocyte-specific genes (PPARγ, C/EBPα, aP2, and leptin). GE decreased both the mRNA levels and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in 3T3-L1 cells. These effects were further inhibited by total GSs (TGSs) and individual GSs. TGSs and individual GSs also significantly decreased MMP-2 and MMP-9 reporter gene activities in the presence of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), the MMP inducer. Among the GSs, Rb1 most effectively inhibited MMP activity. In addition, PMA treatment attenuated the inhibitory actions of GE and GSs on adipogenesis. Moreover, GE and GSs reduced the expression of NF-κB and AP-1, the transcription factors of MMP-2 and MMP-9. These results demonstrate that ginseng, in particular GSs, effectively inhibits adipogenesis and that this process may be mediated in part through the suppression of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Thus, ginseng and GSs likely have therapeutic potential for controlling adipogenesis.