J Vet Sci.  2016 Sep;17(3):315-321. 10.4142/jvs.2016.17.3.315.

Inhibitory effect of red ginseng acidic polysaccharide from Korean red ginseng on phagocytic activity and intracellular replication of Brucella abortus in RAW 264.7 cells

  • 1Institute of Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Korea. kimsuk@gnu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Veterinary Paraclinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Los Baños 4031, Philippines.
  • 3Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea.
  • 4Institute of Agriculture and Life Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Korea.


Korean red ginseng (KRG) has long been used in traditional Korean and Oriental medicine. However, the anti-bacterial mechanism and therapeutic efficiency of KGR for intracellular Brucella infection are still unclear. In this study, the bactericidal activity of Korean red ginseng acidic polysaccharide (RGAP) on Brucella (B.) abortus and its cytotoxic effects on RAW 264.7 cells were evaluated. In addition, B. abortus internalization and intracellular replication in macrophages were investigated after RGAP treatment. RGAP-incubated cells displayed a marked reduction in the adherence, internalization and intracellular growth of B. abortus in macrophages. Furthermore, decreased F-actin fluorescence was observed relative to untreated B. abortus-infected cells. Western blot analysis of intracellular signaling proteins revealed reduced ERK, JNK and p38α phosphorylation levels in B. abortus-infected RGAP-treated cells compared to the control. Moreover, elevated co-localization of B. abortus-containing phagosomes with lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP-1) were observed in RGAP-treated cells compared with the control. Overall, the results of this study suggest that RGAP can disrupt phagocytic activity of B. abortus via suppression of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling proteins ERK, JNK and p38 levels and inhibit intracellular replication of B. abortus by enhancing phagolysosome fusion, which may provide an alternative control of brucellosis.


Brucella abortus; Korean red ginseng; macrophage; phagocytosis; red ginseng acidic polysaccharide
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