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Immunopharmacology. 1998 Jan; 38(3): 287-94.

Stimulation of interleukin-8 production by acidic polysaccharides from the root of Panax ginseng.

Sonoda Y, Kasahara T, Mukaida N, Shimizu N, Tomoda M, Takeda T.

Kyoritsu College of Pharmacy, Tokyo, Japan.

The root of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, is a well-known important Chinese traditional medicine used as a stomachic, tonic, sedative and as an elixir called Ginseng in China and Japan. The precise mechanism of the biological actions of this plant is not fully understood. In order to elucidate the immunomodulating activities of this plant, we examined the direct effects of four of its components, acidic polysaccharides isolated in previous studies, on cytokine (interleukin-8; IL-8) production by a human monocytic cell line, THP-1, and human blood monocytes in vitro, as IL-8 is a potent inflammatory cytokine involved in neutrophil chemotaxis and activation. We found that one component, ginsenan S-IIA, is a potent inducer of IL-8 production by human monocytes and THP-1 cells, and this induction is accompanied by increased IL-8 mRNA expression.

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