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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 748964, 14 pages
Research Article

Korean Red Ginseng Saponin Fraction Rich in Ginsenoside-Rb1, Rc and Rb2 Attenuates the Severity of Mouse Collagen-Induced Arthritis

1Laboratory of Veterinary Physiology and Cell Signaling, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Republic of Korea
2Division of Immunobiology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45219, USA
3Research Center, Dongnam Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Busan 619-953, Republic of Korea
4Debre Markos University, Debre Markos, Ethiopia
5Ginseng Corporation Central Research Institute, Daejeon 305-805, Republic of Korea
6Department of Pharmacology, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon 400-712, Republic of Korea
7Institute of Traditional Medicine & Bioscience, Daejeon University, Daejeon 300-716, Republic of Korea
8Department of Herbology, College of Korean Medicine, Daegu Hanny University, Gyeongsan 712-715, Republic of Korea
9Department of Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea

Received 30 September 2013; Accepted 5 March 2014; Published 16 April 2014

Academic Editor: Nina Ivanovska

Copyright © 2014 Mehari Endale 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.


Despite a multitude of reports on anti-inflammatory properties of ginseng extracts or individual ginsenosides, data on antiarthritic effect of ginseng saponin preparation with mixed ginsenosides is limited. On the other hand, a combined therapy of safe and inexpensive plant-derived natural products such as ginsenosides can be considered as an alternative to treat arthritis. Our previous in vitro data displayed a strong anti-inflammatory action of red ginseng saponin fraction-A (RGSF-A). We, herein, report a marked antiarthritic property of RGSF-A rich in ginsenoside Rb1, Rc, and Rb2. Collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) mice were treated with RGSF-A or methotrexate (MTX) for 5 weeks. Joint pathology, serum antibody production and leukocye activation, cytokine production in the circulation, lymph nodes, and joints were examined. RGSF-A markedly reduced severity of arthritis, cellular infiltration, and cartilage damage. It suppressed CD3+/CD69+, CD4+/CD25+, CD8+ T-cell, CD19+, B220/CD23+ B-cell, MHCII+/CD11c+, and Gr-1+/CD11b+ cell activations. It further suppressed anti-CII- or anti-RF-IgG/IgM, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-17, and IL-6 secretions but stimulated IL-10 levels in the serum, joint, or splenocyte. RGSF-A attenuated arthritis severity, modified leukocyte activations, and restored cytokine imbalances, suggesting that it can be considered as an antiarthritic agent with the capacity to ameliorate the immune and inflammatory responses in CIA mice.