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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 727650, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/727650
Research Article

Ginsenoside Rh1 Improves the Effect of Dexamethasone on Autoantibodies Production and Lymphoproliferation in MRL/lpr Mice

1Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 401 Hospital of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Qingdao, Shandong 266071, China
2Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
3Department of Oncology, 534 Hospital of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Luoyang, Henan 471003, China
4Department of Oncology, Suzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215009, China
5E-Institute of TCM Internal Medicine, Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 10 December 2014; Accepted 11 March 2015

Academic Editor: Fabio Firenzuoli

Copyright © 2015 Yinglu Feng 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.

Abstract

Ginsenoside Rh1 is able to upregulate glucocorticoid receptor (GR) level, suggesting Rh1 may improve glucocorticoid efficacy in hormone-dependent diseases. Therefore, we investigated whether Rh1 could enhance the effect of dexamethasone (Dex) in the treatment of MRL/lpr mice. MRL/lpr mice were treated with vehicle, Dex, Rh1, or Dex + Rh1 for 4 weeks. Dex significantly reduced the proteinuria and anti-dsDNA and anti-ANA autoantibodies. The levels of proteinuria and anti-dsDNA and anti-ANA autoantibodies were further decreased in Dex + Rh1 group. Dex, Rh1, or Dex + Rh1 did not alter the proportion of CD4+ splenic lymphocytes, whereas the proportion of CD8+ splenic lymphocytes was significantly increased in Dex and Dex + Rh1 groups. Dex + Rh1 significantly decreased the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ splenic lymphocytes compared with control. Con A-induced CD4+ splenic lymphocytes proliferation was increased in Dex-treated mice and was inhibited in Dex + Rh1-treated mice. Th1 cytokine IFN-γ mRNA was suppressed and Th2 cytokine IL-4 mRNA was increased by Dex. The effect of Dex on IFN-γ and IL-4 mRNA was enhanced by Rh1. In conclusion, our data suggest that Rh1 may enhance the effect of Dex in the treatment of MRL/lpr mice through regulating CD4+ T cells activation and Th1/Th2 balance.