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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 538059, 8 pages
Research Article

Ginsenosides Rg1 from Panax ginseng: A Potential Therapy for Acute Liver Failure Patients?

Department of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Yuzhong District, Chongqing 400016, China

Received 9 June 2014; Revised 9 September 2014; Accepted 26 September 2014; Published 28 October 2014

Academic Editor: Christopher G. Lis

Copyright © 2014 Jinqiu Zhao 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.


Acute liver failure (ALF) is a rapidly progressing critical illness with a high mortality rate. Circulating inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), play a significant role in the pathophysiology of ALF through promoting hepatocellular apoptosis. Ginsenoside Rg1, the primary active ingredient in Panax ginseng (also termed Asian or Korean ginseng), has been reported to inhibit TNF-α production and has been shown to significantly attenuate liver fibrosis development. Here, we assessed ginsenoside Rg1’s potential as a therapy for ALF by investigating the effect of ginsenoside Rg1 treatment on circulating inflammatory markers, hepatocellular apoptosis, and relevant apoptotic signaling pathways in a well-established murine ALF model. We found that ginsenoside Rg1 significantly reduces liver damage in a murine ALF model through inhibiting TNF-α-induced, caspase-dependent hepatocellular apoptosis. These results support the further investigation of ginsenoside Rg1 as a therapeutic candidate for ALF.