Background and aims In search of immunomodulatory agents, natural products play a vital role since they have relatively low toxicity in clinical applications. Korean red ginseng (KRG) has been used in Korea, Japan, and china as a traditional medicine. KRG has proven for its efficacy against various human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
Methods In this study, KRG was assessed for its ability to act as an adjuvant for the immune response of porcine splenocytes.
The porcines were administered with different concentrations (200 and 400 mg/kg/day) of KRG, orally for 28 days.
Results The splenocytes isolated from KRG treated group showed enhanced immune response in a concentration dependent manner when compared to untreated porcine splenocytes. Further, the intracellular levels of perforin, Granzyme B and NKG2D were found to be significantly increased in transcriptional and translational level as revealed by RT-PCR and western blot analysis respectively. In addition, we compared the cytotoxic ability of splenocytes treated with KRG against K-562 cell for 28 days. The KRG activated porcine splenocytes (effector) were incubated with K-562 (target) in a ratio of 100:1 for 4 hour once a week until the end of the experiment.
Conclusions The splenocytes from KRG treated porcine showed a significantly increased cytotoxicity in time dependent fashion. Whereas, splenocytes from untreated porcine showed a less toxicity. Taken together, KRG has the potential to modulate immune function and should be further investigated as an immunomodulatory agent.
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