Nutr Res Pract.  2020 Aug;14(4):334-351. 10.4162/nrp.2020.14.4.334.

Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of Korean ginseng extract GS-KG9 in a D-galactosamine-induced liver damage animal model

  • 1nternational Ginseng & Herb Research Institute, Geumsan 32724, Korea


This study was designed to investigate the improvement effect of white ginseng extract (GS-KG9) on D-galactosamine (Ga1N)-induced oxidative stress and liver injury.
Sixty Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 6 groups. Rats were orally administrated with GS-KG9 (300, 500, or 700 mg/kg) or silymarin (25 mg/kg) for 2 weeks. The rats of the GS-KG9- and silymarin-treated groups and a control group were then intraperitoneally injected Ga1N at a concentration of 650 mg/kg for 4 days. To investigate the protective effect of GS-KG9 against GalN-induced liver injury, blood liver function indicators, anti-oxidative stress indicators, and histopathological features were analyzed.
Serum biochemical analysis indicated that GS-KG9 ameliorated the elevation of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in GalN-treated rats. The hepatoprotective effects of GS-KG9 involved enhancing components of the hepatic antioxidant defense system, including glutathione, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT). In addition, GS-KG9 treatment inhibited reactive oxygen species (ROS) production induced by GalN treatment in hepatocytes and significantly increased the expression levels of nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) proteins, which are antioxidant proteins. In particular, by histological analyses bases on hematoxylin and eosin, Masson's trichrome, α-smooth muscle actin, and transforming growth factor-β1 staining, we determined that the administration of 500 mg/kg GS-KG9 inhibited hepatic inflammation and fibrosis due to the excessive accumulation of collagen.
These findings demonstrate that GS-KG9 improves GalN-induced liver inflammation, necrosis, and fibrosis by attenuating oxidative stress. Therefore, GS-KG9 may be considered a useful candidate in the development of a natural preventive agent against liver injury.


Panax ginseng; liver; galactosamine; oxidative stress; liver fibrosis
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